42% of frozen ‘shields’ protecting Antarctica are rapidly melting

Antarctica’s melting rate has been measured in area and in detail for the first time; This is a phenomenon that decisively affects sea level rise across the planet. Nothing less 40 ice platforms antarctica (large frozen surfaces on the seashore) have reduced their surface area by at least 30% since 1997as scientists discovered. In addition, according to the research examining these ‘shields’ located between the giant glaciers of the frozen continent and the open sea, 28 of them lost more than half of their ice during this period.

68 of the continent’s 162 ice shelves are showing significant decline According to the study published in the journal, only 29 grew between 1997 and 2021, while 62 experienced no change and three experienced mass loss; But that doesn’t mean it’s showing any significant trends, as scientists can tell. Science Developments.

This amount of melted ice, which usually comes from large inland glaciers, ends up in the sea.. Scientists say that this massive ice melt caused by climate change in Antarctica and Greenland is dangerous and significant sea level rise for decades, even centuries.

The platform is melting in Antarctica Science Developments

“Knowing exactly how and how much ice was lost from these protective floating platforms is an important step in understanding how Antarctica evolved,” said University of Colorado ice scientist Ted Scambos.

The study provides information about freshwater melt in the Amundsen Sea, a “key region for sea level rise in Antarctica,” Scambos said. This not only increases the height of the ocean, but also makes it less dense and salty, with consequences. marine biodiversity and other factors.

The role of frozen platforms

Ice shelves are floating extensions that act “like a shield” and prevent large glaciers from flowing into the water faster., the study’s lead author explained. Hence the importance of controlling this flow towards the ocean.

According to the study, Antarctic ice shelves lost a total of approximately 8.3 trillion tons (7.5 trillion metric tons) of ice over a 25-year period. This is equivalent to approximately 330 billion tonnes (300 billion metric tons) per year; similar to the amount estimated in previous studies.

The situation is becoming increasingly worrying agencies

But the study’s lead author, glaciologist Benjamin Davison of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, said the grand total was not the novelty of this new research. What matters, he noted, are individual loss patterns across regions.. The new study shows the profound losses recorded as the Antarctic Peninsula and four glaciers on the continent’s western side lost more than a billion tonnes.

“Some lost most of their mass during this time,” Davison said. “Wordie is nothing but an ice shelf now,” he added.

The Wordie Ice Shelf, which includes four glaciers near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, suffered a major collapse in 1989 but has lost 87% of its remaining mass since 1997, Davison said. Neighboring Larsen A lost 73% and Larsen B lost 57%. Larsen C, the largest of the Larsen ice shelves, lost 1.8 billion tons (1.7 trillion metric tons) of ice, about one-eighth of its mass.

Melting in Antarctica is constantly increasing life science

The biggest loss occurred on the Thwaites Ice Shelf, which sustains the glacier nicknamed Doomsday.because it melts very quickly and is very large. The platform has lost 70% of its mass (about 4.1 billion tons (3.7 billion metric tons)) in the Amundsen Sea since 1997.

Davison said ice shelves with increased surface areas are predominantly located on the eastern side of the continent, where there is a weather pattern that isolates the lands from warmer waters. But these eastern ice shelves are growing more slowly than the western ice shelves are melting.

Reference work: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adi0186


Contact address of the environmental department:krisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

Source: Informacion


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