Parts of Antarctica have indeed been frozen over the past 20 years, new research reveals, despite the fact that the continent has suffered significant losses due to global warming.
Researchers say sea ice, pushed into ice shelves by a change in local wind patterns, may have helped protect those ice shelves from losses.
Ice shelves are floating pieces of ice that attach to layers of ice on land and help protect against the uncontrolled release of ice inland into the ocean.
In 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.
These events led to the acceleration of the ice to the ocean, ultimately accelerating the contribution of the Antarctic Peninsula to rising sea levels.
There was a time when some ice sheets in eastern Antarctica grew in size, despite global warming.
Parts of Antarctica have indeed been frozen over the past 20 years, new research reveals, despite the fact that the continent has suffered significant losses due to global warming
In 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. There was a time when some ice shelves in East Antarctica grew in size (displayed with +)
ICE CREAM AND ICE MELTING WILL HAVE A “DRAMATIC IMPACT” ON WORLD SEA LEVELS
Global sea levels could rise as high as 10 feet (3 meters) if the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica collapses.
Rising sea levels threaten cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying areas of Florida or Bangladesh, and entire nations such as the Maldives.
In the United Kingdom, for example, a rise of 6.7 feet (2 meters) or more can increase the risk of sinking in areas such as Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth and parts of east London and the Thames estuary.
The glacier collapse, which could begin decades later, could also sink major cities such as New York and Sydney.
Parts of New Orleans, Houston and Miami in the southern United States will also be particularly hard hit.
However, since 2020 there has been an increase in the number of icebergs detached from the eastern Antarctic Peninsula.
The scientists, who used a combination of historical satellite measurements along with ocean and atmosphere records, said their observations “emphasize the complexity and often overlooked importance of sea ice variability for the health of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.”
Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Newcastle and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand have found that 85 per cent of the 870-mile (1,400 km) long continental shelf along the eastern of coastline surveys in 2003-4 and 2019.
This was in contrast to the extensive decline 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 ashore by the wind.
Dr Frazer Christie, of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in Cambridge and co-author of the paper, said: ice of Antarctica.
“Regardless of how the sea ice around Antarctica changes in a warming climate, our observations underscore the often neglected importance of sea ice variability for the health of the Antarctic ice sheet.”
In 2019, Dr. Christie and his co-authors participated in a mission to study the ice conditions in the offshore Wendell Sea off the eastern Antarctic Peninsula.
However, since 2020 the number of icebergs detached from the eastern Antarctic Peninsula has increased.
Researchers say sea ice, pushed to ice shelves by a change in local wind patterns, may have helped protect those ice shelves from losses.
The mission’s lead scientist and co-author of the study, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, also from SPRI, said that during the mission it was noted that parts of the ice shelf coastline were in their “most advanced position since the satellite files began.” in the early 1960s “.
After the mission, the team used satellite imagery 60 years ago, as well as state-of-the-art models of oceans and atmospheres, to investigate in detail the spatial and temporal pattern of reef ice change.
At present, the jury does not know exactly how sea ice around Antarctica will evolve in response to climate change and will therefore affect sea level rise, with some models predicting sea ice loss in the Southern Ocean. while others predict an increase in sea ice.
However, the icebergs that will break 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 co-author of the paper, said: and, finally, more childbirth on an ice shelf. “
The research was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Antarctic ice sheets contain 70% of the world’s freshwater – and sea levels will rise by 180 feet if they melt
Antarctica has a huge amount of water.
The three layers of ice that cover the continent contain about 70 percent of our planet’s fresh water – all due to global warming.
If all layers of ice melted due to global warming, Antarctica would raise global sea levels by at least 183 feet (56 meters).
Given their size, even small losses in the ice sheets could have global consequences.
In addition to rising sea levels, meltwater will slow global ocean traffic, and changing wind zones could affect the climate in the southern hemisphere.
In February 2018, NASA revealed that the El Niιοo events cause Antarctic ice to melt up to ten inches (25 cm) each year.
El Niño and La Niña are separate events that change the temperature of the Pacific Ocean.
The ocean periodically oscillates between warmer-than-average during El Niιοo and colder-than-average during La Niιαa.
Using NASA satellite imagery, researchers have discovered that oceanic phenomena cause melting Antarctic glaciers while increasing snowfall.
In March 2018, it was revealed that a giant glacier the size of France in Antarctica was floating in the ocean than previously thought.
This has raised fears that it could melt faster as the climate warms and has a dramatic impact on rising sea levels.