Jeremy Bassis, an associate professor in LSA’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, told Business Insider that while it’s unclear how soon a pair of giant glaciers could pull away from Antarctica, “it’s within the realm of possibility, and that’s kind of a scary thing.”

Bassis, who studies the evolution of ice sheets and glaciers and their relation to climate change, was commenting on a study published last year in the journal Nature. The study suggests that without a reduction in greenhouse gases, the Antarctic glaciers, known as Pine Island and Thwaites, could collapse within as few as 20 to 50 years. If that were to happen, sea levels could rise as much as 11 feet, flooding coastal cities worldwide.

Click here for more from Jeremy Bassis on Antarctica’s glaciers.