Crucial Antarctic Ice Shelf Failure Possible in less than 5 Years

Ice shelf holding back one of the most dangerous glaciers in Antarctica is weakening. The Thwaites Glacier is a Florida-sized glacier already contributing to 4 percent of global sea level rise annually. However, until recently, the eastern portion flowed more slowly because of the ice shelf holding it back.

However, as the ocean continues to warm at a faster pace, the ocean is eroding the ice shelf from below the surface. There are now several large diagonal cracks along the floating ice. Ice shelf breaking would not be the problem, but what it is holding back will accelerate its movement up to 3 times faster. This will result in several feet of sea level rise and cause major devastation to millions of people living in coastal areas.

Of course, Thwaites isn’t only melting due to the ocean, there is also geothermal activity below causing weakness to the ice shelf. Whether we like it or not, climate is seeing a change, and what has been normal for hundreds of years is shifting.

Appropriate preparation would be necessary and encouraging.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

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