Antarctica’s ice may soon become melted, according to a new study published on Monday in Nature Geoscience journal.
Researchers discovered that the quantity of melted ice in Antarctica may double in the following 35 years if the fossil fuel consumption continues at the same rate.
As Luke Trusel, the lead author of the study explains, the floating ice is affected not only by the air temperature, but also by the ocean’s temperature. Because of the fact that these temperatures become higher and higher, the ice melts very quickly.
Trusel also mentioned that the melting of ice shelves does not represent a significant quantity for the sea’s rising level, but the ice from glaciers and sheets would surely represent a problem. The study approximated a 200 feet rising of the global sea level because of ice sheets.
The study also reveals how the ice shelf melting changes in time due to climate change.
“Melt kind of behaves like a threshold system — either an ice shelf is pretty cold and not much melting is happening at all, or if you warm it up even a little bit, you increase the melt rate,” Trusel said.
He also declared that temperatures have exceeded the threshold in the last decades, and that the increasing temperature from north to south caused an ice shelves collapsing.
By means of satellites, researchers predicted two possible occurrences: with diminished emissions, the ice shelf would continue melting, but not so rapidly. With accelerated emissions, however, the ice shelf would melt at dangerous rates.
What happens during this melting process is that the melted water attracts the sun’s heat and, while flowing into crevices, it makes the ice melt even more.
Trusel declared that even if humans take measures and reduce emissions, there would still be a melting process, but not a dangerous one.
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