The biggest ice shelf of Antarctica is more vulnerable than previously estimated. A new study shows that warm seawater is seeping into a cavity below the Ross Ice Shelf and a France-size ice chunk is melting way faster than any other ice shelf.
The melt in that area is at least ten times higher than the other parts of the ice shelf. While the Ross Ice Shelf is considered to be stable. However, the rapid melting location coincided with a “pinning point”, which holds the flowing ice back and results in stability to the shelf.
Ice shelves are Antarctic ice masses whose formation take place as glaciers flow toward the sea. As per previous research, warm water from the ocean has been causing the melting as well as disintegration of the ice shelves. Due to that, Glacier flow into the ocean increase which further adds to the gradual sea level rise.
As per a 2017 study by Cornell University, by 2100, rising sea levels could displace 2 billion people across the globe. Additionally, they also may inundate coastal communities and other low-lying areas. As per scientists, the sea level rise at present is at 3 mm per year.
The new research, published on April 29 has shown that another kind of melting, which is at the surface and not deep inside, may also make the ice shelves unstable.
Image Credit: independent.co.uk