The melting of the Eurasian ice sheet about 14,000 years ago raised the sea level by about eight meters. So what about the risks of today's rapid melting of the ice sheet?
Earth's last maximum Ice Age began about 33,000 years ago, when huge ice sheets covered most of the Northern Hemisphere.
At the time, the Eurasian ice sheet, which covered most of Scandinavia, contained about three times more frozen water than the modern Greenland ice sheet.
But rapid regional warming led to the destruction of the ice sheet in just 500 years, according to the study's authors, published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
By analyzing sedimentary rocks from the Norwegian Sea, the team found that the collapse of the ice sheet contributed to an event known as melt water 1A - a period during which up to 25 meters was added to global sea level between 13,500-14,700 years ago.
Can you imagine it? 25 meters!
The melting of the Eurasian ice sheet coincided with wide regional temperature swings.
"Studies of ice cores drilled from the Greenland Ice Sheet showed that the atmosphere over Greenland warmed up to 14 ° C over several decades at this time."
“We believe that this warming was the main trigger for the collapse of the ice sheet.”
And as you can see, 14 ° C over several decades is much more than the temperature rise we are currently measuring around the world.
The study found that the entire Eurasian ice sheet had been melting over several centuries, adding more than four centimeters to sea level annually - for a total of about 4.5-7.9 meters.
“Our research supports this idea as the marine sectors of the Eurasian ice sheet suddenly disappeared and did not grow back,” Brendrien said.
"Where the exact tipping points are, for both past ice sheets and current ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, remain unknown, however."
Climate change that occurred several thousand years ago was much more insane than what we are experiencing today. So what about the risks of today's rapid melting of the ice sheet?