Scientists worried about sudden collapse of ice shelf in eastern Antarctica | Sciences

Scientists worried about sudden collapse of ice shelf in eastern Antarctica |  Sciences

We are seeing the effects of warming many oceans over a long period of time with ice constantly melting.

On March 25, the Associated Press announced A report An ice shelf in eastern Antarctica was reported to have collapsed, an area previously considered stable. According to the agency, the wrecked escarpment is larger than New York City, with an estimated area of ​​460 square miles.

This is the first time an ice shelf has crashed into a frozen area, according to satellite images. Accordingly Report Posted by Science Alret, the epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, however; no tsunami alert was issued.

Temperatures rose above normal in some parts of eastern Antarctica (NASA).

Uncertainty about the stability of Eastern Antarctica

The Associated Press reports that satellite images show that the region has been shrinking rapidly over the past two years, which may have caused scientists to overestimate the stability of eastern Antarctica and its resistance to global warming, which is accelerating melting. Ice on its western side.

Catherine Walker, a glaciologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, said the 1,200-kilometer-wide ice shelf between Conger and Glenser collapsed between March 14 and 16. She added that scientists have not seen such an event in this part of the continent and it worries them.

Peter Nef, a glaciologist at the University of Minnesota, described in a tic-tac-toe video how strange the event was, saying, “We never really expected an ice shelf to break in this part of Antarctica. It’s one of the driest areas in the east of the continent.” Antarctica “.

Walker and Nef believe the problem is not about how much ice was lost in the avalanche, but about where the avalanche occurred.

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If previous assumptions about the stability of Eastern Antarctica are wrong, frozen water is likely to melt there, which is devastating.

The problem is not how much ice was lost in the avalanche, but where the avalanche occurred (Getty Images)
The problem is not how much ice was lost in the avalanche, but where the avalanche occurred (Getty Images)

Sea level rise disaster

The waters of eastern Antarctica would take thousands of years to melt, if not more. But this melt will raise sea levels more than 50 meters around the world, 5 times more than the ice of the weaker western Antarctic ice sheet, which was once considered a research hotspot.

Helen Amanda Freaker, co-director of the Skyrips Polar Center at the University of California, San Diego, points out the need to take care of this part of the continent. Water, some of which will reach San Diego and other places.

Scientists have long believed that this particular ice shelf, closest to Australia, has been shrinking slightly since the 1970s, Nef said. In 2020, the ice shelf will accelerate to melt, Walker said, halving its volume almost every month.

Satellite imagery shows that the area has been shrinking rapidly for the past two years (Getty Images)
The melt will raise sea level by more than 50 meters worldwide (Getty Images)

Disaster caused by global warming

“The straw that smashed the camel’s back could be the last heat wave,” Walker told the Associated Press. “We’ll see the effects of the warming of the oceans there for a long time, during which time the ice was constantly melting.”

Rob Larter, a British geophysicist who specializes in Antarctic surveys, believes that the vast majority of eastern Antarctica is safe and relatively vulnerable, in light of the overwhelming concerns of the scientific community.

“Global climate change around eastern Antarctica is sculpting the edges of the ice sheet in some places, but this is actually adding more snow to the central region,” he added.

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