Scientists explained that more than a third of the large floating ice platforms surrounding Antarctica are at risk of collapse due to global warming.
It was stated that Larsen C, the largest ice sheet remaining on the peninsula that split to form the A68 iceberg in 2017, is one of four particularly threatened ice fields. However, it was warned that sea levels would rise tremendously as global temperatures tend to rise 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial revolution levels.
The University of Reading, in the UK, led the most detailed study ever to estimate how vulnerable the floating ice platforms surrounding Antarctica would be to the dramatic collapse from melting and flow, as climate change raises global temperatures.
500 THOUSAND KILOMETERS OF SQUARE AREA CAN COUPLED
He found that 34 percent of all Antarctic ice shelves (about half a million square kilometers), including 67 percent of the ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, would be at risk of collapse due to warming around 4 degrees Celsius.
LARSEN C IN CRITICAL CASE
Researchers also identified Larsen C, the largest ice sheet remaining on the peninsula that split to form the A68 iceberg in 2017, as one of four ice fields that would be particularly threatened. Shackleton, Pine Island and Wilkins were stated to be the other ice shelves facing the threat of a climate change.
The researchers said limiting the temperature rise to 2 degrees, as outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, could halve the area at risk and prevent a serious rise in sea levels.
SEA LEVELS CAN RISE SIGNIFICANTLY
Ice racks are called permanent floating ice sheets attached to a land mass, and most of them surround the Antarctic coast.
“Ice racks are important buffers that prevent land glaciers from floating freely in the ocean and sea level rise,” said Ella Gilbert, co-author of the study. “If one of them collapses, like removing a giant cork from a bottle, enormous amounts of water reach the seas from glaciers,” he said.
“If temperatures continue to rise at current rates, we could lose more Antarctic ice sheets in the next decades. Limiting warming will not only be good for Antarctica. “Preserving the ice sheets means less global sea level rise, and that’s good for all of us,” he said.
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