Melt of Key Antarctic Glaciers “Unstoppable”

Antarctica's Twaites Glacier

This article describes how a massive portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, that was once home to some of the fastest-growing glaciers on the continent has since retreated and melted to the point that it is “unstoppable,” two new studies have found. The entire ice sheet worries scientists because it has enough ice to raise sea levels up 10 to 13 feet. This is because the ice is bound to land and would displace the water, kind of like what happens when you put ice cubes into a glass of water. The main concern is the glacier’s grounding line, which is the point where the glacier meets the ocean and floats atop of it. Because thanks to climate change, most of the water in the area is warmed up due to high winds pushing warm water to the South Pole, which will melt the ice faster. Essentially, the circulation of water is quickly removing the ice from Antarctica and into the ocean. The studies have been done by the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

– Sean Sabogal-

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/melt-of-key-antarctic-glaciers-unstoppable/

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