Study reveals East Antarctic ice’s vulnerability to ocean heat

Study reveals East Antarctic ice’s vulnerability to ocean heat

Harsh winds and chilly ocean currents have cut off East Antarctica from the rest of the world, and its massive stores of ice have mostly remained intact. But, researchers have discovered major melting that could foretell a less stable future for the region.

Last year, a team of Australian researchers found a channel of warm water nearly 10 kilometers wide and 1 kilometer deep in front of the massive Totten Glacier, causing it to unprecedentedly melt.

Steve Rintoul, lead author of the study, said that it was the first time when researchers had been able to test the hypothesis that warm ocean waters were driving Totten Glacier’s thinning.

Speaking on the topic, Rintoul added, “We knew the Totten has been thinning faster than other glaciers in East Antarctica … we found that warmer ocean water is reaching the cavity through this channel at temperatures capable of melting the ice shelf at the point where it meets ground.”

The researchers stressed that it was crucial to be able to predict Totten Glacier’s future behavior as it contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by nearly 3.5 meters.

The findings, shedding light on the East Antarctic ice sheet’s vulnerability to ocean heat, were detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Science Advances.


User login



You May Have Missed...

Big diamonds shed more light on Earth’s mantle
Mon, 12/19/2016 - 05:50

The biggest and most valuable diamonds hold particular interest to geologists because they may offer unprecedented clues as to how Earth's mantle...


Nigeria Update

Fresh Polio Cases lead to WHO Travel Restrictions on Pakistan and Syria
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:45

World Health Organization has slapped international travel restrictions on Pakistan, Cameroon...


Economy Watch

US Import Prices decline in April
Thu, 05/14/2015 - 01:13

For a straight 10th month, US import prices declined in April. The decline could be due to the...


Health Tonight

17% of American adults take psychiatric drugs: study
Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:18

One in six American adults has to take a psychiatric medication to cope with conditions like...


Science Tonight

Earth is due for ‘extinction-level’ comet or asteroid strike: NASA scientist war
Thu, 12/15/2016 - 05:58

Earth is due for an “extinction-level” event like a huge comet or asteroid strike but humans are...


UK News

Global wildlife populations face two-thirds decline by 2020: report
Wed, 11/02/2016 - 05:57

Global wildlife populations are facing an average decline of two-thirds by the end of this...


Pharmaceuticals

Aetna
Sat, 01/17/2015 - 06:04

Aetna inc., health care company, on Friday announced that it has signed a deal with Gilead...


US News

Researchers analyze diamond chunks to better understand deep Earth
Fri, 12/16/2016 - 05:25

In a bid to better understand the extreme depths of Earth, a diamond geologist and colleagues at...


Technology Tonight

Evernote’s new privacy policy will allow employees to read users’ notes
Thu, 12/15/2016 - 09:39

Evernote has revealed in a recent announcement that it is bringing about a change in its privacy...