The world's largest ice sheet may melt: catastrophic consequences await us

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    The world's largest ice sheet may melt: catastrophic consequences

    Warmer waters near Antarctica could lead to the melting of the ice sheet, which in turn will lead to a significant rise in sea levels.

    The East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is equivalent in size to the United States, is the largest ice sheet in the world. As the name implies, it is located in Antarctica and is the “partner” of another ice sheet – the West Antarctic. Scientists believe that a change in the circulation of water in the Southern Ocean could destroy the stability of the world's largest ice sheet, and this in turn will lead to the fact that the world's sea levels will rise to catastrophic levels, according to ScienceAlert.

    Australian scientists from the scientific organization CSIRO presented their new study, which warns that global warming caused by anthropogenic factors could lead to the melting of parts of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

    Scientists attribute this process to the fact that more and more warm water is directed towards the ice sheet. As a result of rising ocean temperatures, there is a threat of rising sea levels, which threatens to flood coastal settlements, and this will also lead to the destruction of the local Antarctic fauna.

    The world's largest ice sheet may melt: catastrophic consequences await

    Sea levels will rise by 5 meters

    It is already well known that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is gradually melting, which is already contributing to sea level rise. But new data from Australian scientists show that this process is also beginning in the neighboring ice sheet to the east.

    Scientists have studied an ice shelf called the Aurora Subglacial Basin, which is a region of frozen sea ice that is part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. According to scientists, if this glacier melts completely, the level of the global ocean will rise by 5.1 meters catastrophic for nature and humanity.

    Most of this ice shelf is below sea level, so it is especially sensitive to rising temperatures water. This is due to the fact that water at depth needs lower temperatures to freeze than water closer to the surface of the ocean.

    The world's largest ice sheet may melt: catastrophic consequences await us

    Water temperature rises every 10 years

    Scientists in the course of the study found that the temperature of sea water near the glacier during the 20th century increased by 0.1 ℃ to 0.4 ℃ every 10 years. And since the 90s of the last century, the temperature of the water began to rise by 0.3 ℃ to 0.9 ℃ every 10 years.

    The increase in the amount of warmer water in the ocean near Antarctica is associated with a significant increase the level of greenhouse gas emissions.

    “Once it was thought that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet could not be destroyed by warmer water. But our research shows that more and more warm water is replacing colder water in this region. We believe that the movement of warm water towards the glacial The shield will only get stronger until the end of the 21st century,” says CSIRO's Laura Errais Borreguero.

    Only one way to avoid disaster

    Scientists believe that it is urgent to limit global warming to below the mark than 1.5℃. To do this, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near zero by 2050. Researchers warn that an increase in global temperature by a level higher than 1.5 ℃ threatens to destabilize the Antarctic shield and, as a result, rise in sea levels by several meters, which will be a real disaster.

    But if warming does not exceed the level of 1.5 ℃, then by 2100 the global level will rise by only half a meter for both people and living ecosystems, there will be an opportunity to prepare for this and adapt to new conditions life.

    As Focus already wrote, Thwaites Glacier, sometimes referred to as the Doomsday Glacier, is melting faster than it has been in the last few thousand years. The glacier, due to global warming, is losing ice at an incredibly fast pace.

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