Studies released earlier this month report human-made emissions now spiraling upward at an accelerating rate much faster than scientists expected only a few years ago.
The NASA release points out that a 1992 treaty was "signed (and ratified) by the United States and almost all nations of the world," which "has the goal to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gases 'at a level that prevents dangerous human-made interference with the climate system.' "
NASA says this new study thus helps "define practical implications" of that 1992 treaty — the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The study says that "only moderate additional climate forcing (which would mean only moderate additional warming from such emissions) is likely to set in motion the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet" — dubbed WAIS by polar scientists.
Many scientists say a disintegration of WAIS would mean catastrophically rapid sea-level rise.
The NASA/Columbia study is co-written by 48 scientists in the United States and France.