|Source: Physics Today|
What they found is a large 'plug' is holding back the ice in Wilkes Basin. This plug is huge (about a trillion tons of ice), but is small in comparison to the ice in the basin. In comparison, the plug would raise the world sea level by about 80 mm if it all melted. If the basin ice melted, it would raise world sea levels by about 3 m. If the plug melts or breaks apart, then there won't be anything to stop the Wilkes Basin from dumping its ice into the sea.
So, what are the chances of the plug melting? That is a big unknown. It could happen relatively quickly, or it could take hundreds of years. Right now, we don't know enough of what is underneath the ice and the dynamics of what is going on to say for sure.
Research continues, so stay tuned.