Scientists have discovered that the ice sheet of Antarctica is rapidly collapsing

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers have discovered dangerous changes taking place in the southernmost region of the planet. Studies have shown that the region is rapidly losing ice cover.

The researchers found that the thinning of Antarctic ice as ocean water melted has spread inland, and has almost doubled in the western portions of the ice sheet over the past decade.

The scientists also discovered how the breaking off of icebergs from the ice front has changed the Antarctic coastline over the past 25 years.

Antarctica is crumbling around the edges. And as ice shelves shrink and weaken, the continent’s massive glaciers tend to accelerate and increase the rate of global sea level rise,” said study lead author Chad Greene.

The Antarctic ice sheet gains approximately 2,000 cubic kilometers of ice each year from precipitation, and the same amount is lost as solid ice is dumped into the surrounding oceans.

There is a kind of balance. However, recent results show that this balance is broken and the ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerated rate.

In a study published in the journal Earth System Science Data, JPL scientists combined nearly 3 billion data points from seven space-based altitude instruments to produce a dataset of ice sheet height changes.

The data showed how long-term weather patterns affect the rise and fall of ice sheets. Subglacial lakes regularly fill and empty many miles below the surface.

“Such minor changes, combined with an improved understanding of long-term trends based on this data set, will help researchers understand the processes that influence ice loss, leading to better future estimates of sea level rise,” said JPL lead author Johan Nilsson.

The researchers are also analyzing the shedding of ice from the Antarctic ice sheet, which is causing sea levels to rise significantly around the world.

Scientists say Antarctica’s ice shelves help control the flow of glacial ice as it drains into the ocean, meaning that the rate of global sea level rise depends on the integrity of the fragile ice sheet.

Scientists have found that ocean warming is destabilizing Antarctica’s ice shelves, eroding them from below, thereby making them thinner and weaker.

NASA has stated that the ice shelves act as glacier supports, keeping the ice from sliding into the ocean. When ice shelves are stable, they have a natural calving and restocking cycle that keeps their size constant for long periods of time.

The study doubts that Antarctica will be able to grow to 2000 levels by the end of this century, and believe that all of the largest ice shelves are poised for major calving in the next 10 to 20 years.


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