Home / Science / A glacier the size of Florida becomes unstable. This has serious consequences for the global sea levels

A glacier the size of Florida becomes unstable. This has serious consequences for the global sea levels



<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Melting ice sheets in Antarctica, especially one of the largest and most unstable glaciers in the region, could significantly accelerate sea-level rise, according to a new report. "data-reactid =" 22 "> According to a new report, the melting of Antarctic ice sheets, especially one of the largest and most unstable glaciers in the region, could significantly accelerate the rise of the of the sea in the world.

<p class = "web-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Climate scientists who measured the likely results of the cast glaciers at the bottom of the world focused the study on the Thwaites glacier, a region as vast as Florida in western Antarctica and considered the most unstable of the continent. "Data-reactid =" 23 "> Climatologists who have measured the likely consequences of melting glaciers at the bottom of the world have focused their study on Thwaites Glacier, a region as vast as Florida in the western part of the world. Antarctica, is considered the most unstable of the continent.

<p class = "web-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The study found that even there were no others climate change In the future, more Antarctic ice caps may become unstable. It also indicates that as the destabilization of glaciers in Antarctica continues, it is increasingly likely that sea levels will rise more rapidly. "Data-reactid =" 24 "> The study found that even if no climate change occurred in the future, more Antarctic ice It is also likely that the destabilization of glaciers in Antarctica increases the probability from a faster rise in sea level.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" Due to past climate changes, there is a certain amount of sea level rise that will certainly occur in the future ", Alex Robel, a glaciologist and assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, tells TIME. With another scientist from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington, he wrote the report published by the National Academy of Sciences. "Data-reactid =" 26 ">" Due to climate change in the past, Alex Robel, a glaciologist and assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told TIME, along with two other scientists from the California Institute of Technology. and the University of Washington, wrote the report by the National Academy of Sciences.

<p class = "canvas-atom-text-canvas Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Earlier this year, a A study conducted by NASA revealed that a giant cavity, Data-reactid = "27"> Earlier this year, a study conducted by NASA revealed that a giant cavity, two thirds of the surface, had been developed under Thwaites. The Manhattan area developed under Thwaites, highlighting the unexpected melting thaw in the region.

"It is really painful, on a human level, to think or to realize that there is a certain level of retreat in terms of sea level rise that we have already engaged in. 'future,' added Robel.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The amount of ice leaving the region has almost doubled at over the last 30 years, losing 35 gigatonnes of ice per year between 2009 and 2017, or 3% of the current rate of sea level rise. Robert Larter, Marine geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey. "data-reactid =" 31 "> The amount of ice leaving the region has almost doubled in the last 30 years, losing 35 gigatons of ice per year between 2009 and 2017. This equates to 3% of the current rate of ice. sea ​​level rise according to Robert Larter, Marine Geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey.

The sea ice caps, which form when the warmer seawater melts the area between the sea floor and the ice that creates a cavity, may collapse. Scientists are worried that the remaining ice will melt faster.

"It's a 3% contribution that was not there 45 years ago," Larter said at TIME. He says all the ice in the Thwaites Glacier could raise the global sea level by just over two feet. "If you have destroyed an entire glacial system, you are creating a new front on the other glacial systems that were adjacent to it. Things are definitely not going to stop there, "said Larter.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The sea level is currently rising at a rate of 3 , 3 millimeters a year and have increased by 91 millimeters since 1993, according to NASA. "data-reactid =" 34 "> The sea level is currently increasing by 3.3 millimeters per year and 91 millimeters since 1993, according to NASA.

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. | NASA / OIB / Jeremy Harbeck

What did the study show exactly?

Robel, along with scientists Helene Seroussi and Gerard Roe, used mathematical analysis and computer models to make sea level projections in the future. They wanted to understand how possible scenarios of future sea level rise could evolve over time due to the instability of the sea ice cap.

"The more this instability of the sea ice sheet occurs, the greater the range of future sea level rise becomes possible," says Robel. "Not only that, but this range will start to skew towards scenarios of faster sea level rise."

When they tested these predictions with the help of a computer model of Thwaites Glacier, they came to the same conclusion. The simulations confirmed what scientists such as Larter observed during field expeditions in Western Antarctic and previous modeling studies of the Thwaites Glacier, which had shown that the glacier was becoming more and more unstable.

These simulations also show that future expeditions have an important role to play in trying to reduce Thwaites' potential sea level rise scenarios, says Robel.

"There will always be a level of uncertainty in our future projections, but that does not mean we do not know some very important things," he added. For example, it is certain that sea level will continue to rise because of past climate change, he said. "We must keep in mind that our future actions can dramatically alter the magnitude of sea level rise in the future."

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" The largest image is that there we have learned in recent years, more uncertainties are increasing, "said Larter, who has been studying Antarctica for 15 years and went to Thwaites for scientific expeditions with the International Collaboration Thwaites Glacier, a partnership of scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom, says. "As scientists, we are partly trying to limit uncertainties and give better predictions, but in some ways, the more we discover that the more we discover uncertainties." "Data-reactid =" 55 ">" The table general shows that there are jokers in the game and the more we learn in recent years, the more uncertainties are increasing, "said Larter, who studied Antarctica for 15 years and Thwaites is participating in Scientific expeditions with the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, a partnership of American and British scientists: "One of the objectives of what we do as scientists is to limit uncertainty and to give better forecasts, but in some ways, the more we discover that the more we discover uncertainties. "

What does ice sheet instability mean for the future of Antarctica and the world?

<p class = "web-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Western Antarctic has the potential to increase the level from the sea 5 meters, while the eastern Antarctic can add 50 to 60 meters if the ice of the continent melts completely, Anders Levermann, climatologist at Institute for Climate Impact Research of Potsdam in Germany, tells TIME. To put this in perspective, according to Levermann, there has been a rise in sea level of about 20 centimeters over the last 100 to 120 years. "Data-reactid =" 57 "> The West Antarctic could potentially raise the sea level by 5 meters, while East Antarctica can add 50 to 60 meters deep if the continent's ice was melting completely, says Anders Levermann, a climatologist at the Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany, which has taken about 20 centimeters of sea level rise over the last 100-120 years, according to Levermann.

Since 1992, satellite observations for the Antarctic have revealed that ice sheets contribute to sea level rise around the world. Most of the loss of Antarctic ice comes from West Antarctica.

What is still uncertain is how quickly the continent is losing ice or whether the instability of Thwaites' sea ice cap is a result of climate change, but Mr Levermann says that there is nothing just not enough research to be sure.

"It is very curious that nothing has happened for 10,000 years in Western Antarctic, and now [unstable] 100 years after starting to play with the temperature of the planet, "says Levermann. "The more we warm the planet, the more we lose ice."

He added that there were more marine ice caps in Antarctica that could become destabilized if warming continued.

According to Dr. Levermann, scientists will know more over the next 20 years at the current rate of research. He adds that the world must prepare for a significant rise in sea level by 2100 and monitor the developments in Antarctica and Greenland.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts a rise of 0.26 to 0.77 millimeters from sea level by 2100 if warming increases by 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. "Data-reactid =" 64 "> The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts an increase of 0.26 to 0.77 millimeters at sea level by 2100 if the warming increases 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why is sea level rise important?

"Regardless of the fact that this was triggered by man – which is an obvious possibility without scientific evidence at the moment – but apart from that, we are increasing the risk of sea level rise. and an acceleration of sea level rise since Antarctica with a warming planet, "said Levermann.

Coastal cities around the world are threatened if sea levels continue to rise. Robel says countries around the world need to be aware that there will be a rise in sea level and that they have to prepare for it by adapting the infrastructure and taking action. which will avoid aggravating the problem.

"Nobody should be afraid of rising sea level. If you are not stupid, you will not die of sea level rise, because it is so slow that it is time to protect yourself or abandon the land, "says Levermann. "That being said, being stupid would mean not taking climate change and rising sea levels seriously."


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