I went to a talk by Dr. David Holland* from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. Wow, it was one of the most original and informative presentations. He showed us pictures and videos which he took in arctic and antarctic research stations. It was great joy to hear from a field expert of climate change frontier. Here is the summary of the talk:
You must be familiar about Sink hole theory of ice sheet. Warmed up air melts top ice, and then melted ice digs sink holes through body of ice sheet. Water flows through the sink hole and lubricate ice sheet while facilitating total melting process.
Dr. Holland presented a bit different theory. He pointed warm sea water as a main cause of ice sheet melting. He dropped temperature probes into ice fjord and found bottom water is warmer than has been thought. Warmer ocean water is eating away ice sheet. It seemed not his experties to explain why temperature is increasing at the bottom. He pointed wind patern changs as a possible cause.
He measures the amount of sink hole melting is very small compared to meting by warmer ocean. He is still working on computer model with his theory, so didn't provide any explicit prediction. But he mentioned "it will hardly happen that whole Florida submerges under water."
Predicting the impacts of climate change will never be easy task because we have never been there.
*Dr. Holland is a member of The Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science(CAOS), an interdisciplinary research and graduate program within the Courant. His work focuses on modeling the interaction of climate, oceans,and ice shelves. His webpage: http://efdl.cims.nyu.edu/