Melting ice in East Antarctica could trigger a sea level rise of 10-13 feet (300-400 centimeters), predict scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Image © Michael Studinger. Caption by Adam Voiland

East Antactica’s large Wilkes Basin is built on a slant and is held back by a rim of ice. If this rim is lost, an uncorking effect could trigger a massive rise in sea level. Sea level rise is expected to increase by 16 centimeters by the end of the century, but if the Wilkes Basin begins to empty, all bets are off.