Climate change: scientists warn about the melting of ice sheets

Climate change: scientists warn about the melting of ice sheets
Climate change: scientists warn about the melting of ice sheets

A recent one Research conducted by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has revealed an ice melting process not considered in current sea level rise prediction models, which may have major consequences due to climate change advance.

The team of scientists, led by Alex Bradley, ice dynamics researcher at BAS, identified the possibility of a new tipping point in the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet. “This means that our projections of sea level rise could be significant underestimates,” Bradley said in a statement.

This event would mainly affect coastal regions as Greenland and Antarctica, where adaptation measures must be applied to climate change to avoid future consequences in the communities in the area.

Currently, the Antarctic ice sheet is already losing an average of 150 billion metric tons of ice each year and, in its entirety, contains enough water to raise global sea level by approximately 58 meters.

What the investigation revealed

The research focuses on the support zone, a critical region where land ice meets the ocean, an area particularly sensitive to climate change. In this region, ice moves into the surrounding ocean and melts, a common phenomenon off the coasts of Antarctica and Greenland.

This process contributes significantly to sea level rise. The study modeled how seawater can infiltrate between land and the ice sheet above it, affecting localized melting of the ice. This process lubricates the ice bed, increasing the speed at which it can slide into the sea.


Photo: Pixabay

He water heating accelerates this melting phenomenon. The hot water that melts the support zone of the ice sheet opens new cavities, allowing more water to enter and causing more melting. This feedback loop creates larger and larger cavities, speeding up the process.

The problem that the scientific community points out is that a small increase in water temperature can have a major impact on the amount of ice melted, underscoring the extreme sensitivity of these ice sheets to global warming.

This critical process, not yet included in current models predicting sea level rise, could provide an more accurate picture of future changes due to climate change.

Source: Ambito

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