Some Antarctic ice shelves have GROWN over the past 20 years despite global warming

Parts of Antarctica have actually gained ice over the past 20 years, new research reveals, despite the continent having suffered significant losses due to global warming.

Researchers say sea ice, pushed against ice shelves by a change in regional wind patterns, may have helped protect these ice shelves from loss.

Ice shelves are floating sections of ice attached to Earth’s ice sheets and help protect against the uncontrolled release of inland ice into the ocean.

During the late 20th century, high levels of warming on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula led to the collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves in 1995 and 2002, respectively.

These events caused the ice to accelerate towards the ocean, ultimately accelerating the contribution of the Antarctic Peninsula to sea level rise.

There was then a period when some ice shelves in East Antarctica grew in the area, despite global warming.

Parts of Antarctica have actually gained ice over the past 20 years, new research reveals, despite the continent having suffered significant losses from global warming.

During the late 20th century, high levels of warming in the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula led to the collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves in 1995 and 2002, respectively. East Antarctica grew in the area (shown with a +)

During the late 20th century, high levels of warming in the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula led to the collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves in 1995 and 2002, respectively. East Antarctica grew in the area (shown with a +)

GLACIERS AND ICE CLIFFS WOULD HAVE A ‘DRAMATIC IMPACT’ ON GLOBAL SEA LEVELS

Global sea level could rise by up to 3 meters if Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica collapses.

Rising sea levels threaten cities from Shanghai to London, low-lying areas in Florida or Bangladesh, and entire nations such as the Maldives.

In the UK, for example, a rise of 6.7 feet (2 meters) or more can cause areas such as Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth and parts of East London and the Thames Estuary to be submerged.

The collapse of the glacier, which could begin in decades, could also engulf large cities like New York and Sydney.

Parts of New Orleans, Houston and Miami in the southern United States would also be particularly affected.

However, since 2020 there has been an increase in the number of icebergs that have broken away from the East Antarctic Peninsula.

The scientists, who used a combination of historical satellite measurements, along with ocean and atmospheric records, said their observations “highlight the complexity and often overlooked importance of sea ice variability for the health of the Antarctic ice sheet.”

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, Newcastle University and the University of Canterbury of New Zealand found that 85% of the 870-mile (1,400 km) long ice shelf along the eastern Antarctic Peninsula has undergone. an uninterrupted advancement “between the surveys of the coast in 2003-4 and 2019.

This was in contrast to the extensive retreat of the previous two decades.

Research suggests that this growth was linked to changes in atmospheric circulation, which led to more sea ice being carried to the coast by the wind.

Dr Frazer Christie, of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in Cambridge and lead author of the paper, said: ‘We have found that sea ice change can safeguard or trigger the detachment of icebergs from the great Antarctic ice shelves.

“Regardless of how sea ice around Antarctica changes in a warm climate, our observations highlight the often overlooked importance of sea ice variability to the health of the Antarctic ice sheet.”

In 2019, Dr. Christie and his co-authors were part of an expedition to study the ice conditions in the Weddell Sea off the eastern Antarctic Peninsula.

However, since 2020 there has been an increase in the number of icebergs that have broken away from the East Antarctic Peninsula

However, since 2020 there has been an increase in the number of icebergs that have broken away from the East Antarctic Peninsula

Researchers say sea ice, pushed against ice shelves by a change in regional wind patterns, may have helped protect these ice shelves from loss.

The expedition’s chief scientist and co-author of the study, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, also of SPRI, said that during the expedition it was noted that parts of the sea ice coast were in their “most advanced position since the start of satellite recordings in the early days. 60’s”.

After the expedition, the team used 60-year-old satellite imagery, as well as state-of-the-art ocean and atmospheric models, to study in detail the spatial and temporal pattern of sea ice change.

Currently, the jury is concerned with exactly how sea ice around Antarctica will evolve in response to climate change, and thus affect sea level rise, with some models predicting large-scale sea ice loss in the Southern Ocean, while others predict sea ice rising.

But rupture of the icebergs in 2020 could signal the beginning of a change in atmospheric patterns and a return to losses, according to the research.

Dr Wolfgang Rack, of the University of Canterbury and one of the paper’s co-authors, said: ‘It is entirely possible that we could see a transition to atmospheric models similar to those observed in the 1990s that encouraged ice loss. marine and, ultimately, more I leave on the pack ice. ‘

The research was published in the journal NatureGeoscience.

Antarctica’s ice sheets contain 70% of the world’s fresh water and sea level would rise 180 feet if it melted

Antarctica contains a huge amount of water.

The three ice caps that cover the continent contain about 70 percent of our planet’s fresh water, all of which are used to warm the air and oceans.

If all ice sheets were to melt due to global warming, Antarctica would raise global sea level by at least 56 m (183 ft).

Given their size, even small losses in the ice sheets could have global consequences.

In addition to rising sea levels, meltwater would slow global ocean circulation, while changing wind belts could affect the climate in the Southern Hemisphere.

In February 2018, NASA revealed that El Niño events cause the Antarctic ice shelf to melt up to ten inches (25 centimeters) every year.

El Niño and La Niña are separate events that alter the water temperature of the Pacific Ocean.

The ocean periodically fluctuates between warmer than average during El Niños and colder than average during La Niñas.

Using NASA satellite imaging, the researchers found that ocean phenomena cause the Antarctic ice shelves to melt, even increasing snowfall.

In March 2018, it was revealed that more than one giant glacier the size of France in Antarctica floats on the ocean than previously thought.

This has raised fears that it could melt faster as the climate warms and have a dramatic impact on sea level rise.