Climate News Network website reveals that it would take 5,000 to 10,000 years for the entire basin to drain into the sea.
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In the sea-level-change chapter of the September 2013 United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, two scientists say that if the “ice-cork region” of East Antarctica disappears, all the ice in the Wilkes Basin could drain into the sea – in 10,000 years.

The report, accessible through purchase on, used some observations of the ice but relied mostly on climate simulation models, or PISM, to predict what would happen if the “ice cork” between the Wilkes Basin and the open sea in East Antarctica melted.