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https://phys.org/news/2019-12-evidence-antarctica-thinning-ice-shelves.html

First evidence that Antarctica's thinning ice shelves are causing more ice to move from the land into the sea
A detailed view of changes in ice flow around the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, due to thinning ice shelves. Pine Island Glacier is at the top right, with changes seen almost 100 miles inland. Credit: Northumbria University

Researchers have produced the first physics-based quantifiable evidence that thinning ice shelves in Antarctica are causing more ice to flow from the land into the ocean.

Their findings have been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Satellite measurements taken between 1994 and 2017 have detected significant changes in the thickness of the floating ice shelves that surround the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These shelves buttress against the land-based ice, holding them in place like a safety band.

While it has been suggested that the thinning ice shelves were responsible for a direct loss of ice from the land-based ice sheet into the ocean, there was no actual evidence…

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7 thoughts on “First evidence that Antarctica’s thinning ice shelves are causing more ice to move from the land into the sea

  1. Thanks for sharing, Robert. Based on the following excerpt from article, I understand that the collapse of the Antarctic Ice Sheet could occur must sooner than predicted. We humans are playing with forces we don’t yet fully understand.

    “Generally, we distinguish between an instantaneous response or a delayed, transient response. Our study shows the thinning of the ice shelves results in a significant instantaneous response to ice flow and ongoing mass loss. This means that we are not protected against the impact of the Antarctic Ice Sheet on global sea levels by a long response time.”
    ~ Hilmar Gudmundsson, Professor of Glaciology and Extreme Environments at Northumbria University

    Liked by 2 people

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