Environment Magazine

Glaciers in Antarctica Are Melting at a Very Fast Pace as a Result of Global Warming

Posted on the 17 June 2018 by Rinkesh @ThinkDevGrow

The Ice sheets in Antarctica are melting increasingly as a result of climate change. However, it important to know that within a decade, the melting of glaciers in Antartica has tripled, thus, driving about 200 billion tons of ice into the oceans thereby raising the sea levels to half-millimeter annually, according to a report published on Wednesday by Nature.

Scientists have further warned that if the increased rate of melting proceeds to an alarming rate, it would raise the ocean levels and could be disastrous for low-lying cities and communities. In addition, the end result of this also denotes that countries have a shorter time to decrease the level of greenhouse effects, probably less than a decade if they are hoping to avoid the extreme costs of global warming.

glacier-mountains-landscape

It is also necessary to keep in mind that Antarctica has the biggest glacier in the world but right now, this same glacier has more than 200 billion tons of ice melted within a decade. Every year, it lost 49 billion tons of ice. This was according to a research done by a team of experts in Antarctica.

The research work which was formally called “The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE)” included 84 scientists, 44 international organizations and 24 satellite surveys, is now published by Nature. The Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) press release also conveyed that the melting of glaciers from 2012 to 2017 contributed to the 0.6 millimeters of the level of sea rise across the globe. Before 2012, the melting of ice was at a decreased level and consistent at about 76 billion tons annually, just contributing 0.2 millimeters of the level of sea rise.

An Antarctic scientist from the University of California at Irvine, Isabella Velicogna said, “We took all the estimates across all different techniques, and we got this consensus

The detailed record shows an acceleration, starting around 2002.” One of the research authors, Beata Csatho made this known.

Csatho said that if we are to compare the first decade and the last one, the melting of glaciers in Antarctica has doubled. “Actually, if you compare 1997-2002 to 2012-2017, the increase is even larger, a factor of more than 5!!”

The research leader who is also CPOM director, Andrew Shepherd, said this to BBC News: “A three-fold increase now puts Antarctica in the frame as one of the largest contributors to sea level rise.” He also added that “the last time we looked at the polar ice sheets, Greenland was a dominant contributor. That’s no longer the case.”

Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers in the West of Antarctica have the highest amount of melted ice. Also, this melted ice fall on the Peninsula of Antarctica.

However, the IMBIE research was not only the research conducted and publicized on Wednesday. In regards to the effects of global warming in Antarctica, an institution in Waterloo also publicized their study in Science Advances and they have found a means of which the ice loss in Antarctica can be accelerated at a much faster pace.

It is necessary to know that it took two years for the study in Waterloo to discover that increased air temperatures and sea levels are undermining ice shelves from below, thus, making them crack on top, which tends to increase the possibility of the ice breaking off. This was according to the press released by the University of Waterloo which was publicized by Phys.org.

Christine Dow, the research leader from the University of Waterloo made it clear that this discovery might decrease the time-frame at which glaciers collapse and the rise of sea levels globally.

This study is more evidence that the warming effects of climate change are impacting our planet in ways that are often more dangerous than we perhaps had thought. There are many more vulnerable ice shelves in the Antarctic that, if they break up, will accelerate the process of sea level rise.” Dow made this known.  She also added this: “If you start removing mass from there. You can have a very large-scale evacuation of ice into the ocean and significant sea-level rise.”

Dow and her team also discovered that places with major ice are inducing deep crevasses beneath the floating ice shelves that hold these glaciers in shape. These ice shelves tend to crack from within and break off large pieces. “Anywhere you have thinner ice, it’s going to be weaker,” Dow also pointed out.

Another research on the melting of glaciers in Antarctica from the Imperial College London stated what will occur to the ice and wildlife of the South Pole in 2070 if global warming is not reduced. The new research also made emphasizes to Antarctica that climate change would cause the glaciers there to contribute 27 centimeters to the global sea rise levels if adequate measures are not enforced.

Image credit: pixabay

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