Ocean Waves lead to break up of Ice Sheets

Ocean Waves lead to break up of Ice Sheets

As per research team from New Zealand, the strong ocean waves have a bigger role to play in breaking up of ice sheets. The study has been published in Nature’s this week edition. The strong ocean waves reverberate across the ice sheets and lead to breaking up of the ice sheets.

After breakup, the parts of ice sheet start their journey towards water, which leads to further melting. There is a difference between the Ice sheets and Ice shelves and ice sheets of more prone to melting. Ice sheets form a thick layer of ice above the ocean surface.

The research team from New Zealand noted that the ice sheets face a bigger threat from ocean waves, compared to the threat of global warming. Ice sheets cover nearly 10 million square miles of surface on our planet. The experiments were conducted in Antarctic region. The waves over three meter led to disturbance as far as 220 miles. The waves smaller than 3 meters, were found to have a minor impact on the ice sheets.

Study lead author Alison Kohout, from New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Christchurch said that the impact of strong waves can be noticed on the ice surface. Over time, the phenomenon creates fatigue and the ice fractures.

Another researcher, Dr. Mike Williams added, "When the experiments required for this research were last carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, people needed to be sitting on the sea ice to take measurements and that meant they couldn't be out there when the big waves came through."

The research team concluded that more research is needed to understand the behavior of ice sheets. The melting of ice sheets could increase the level of oceans and might lead to massive destruction for the major cities across the world.


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