Antarctic glaciers are losing ice equal to Mount Everest every two years as icy masses in west of the continent are rapidly turning into water, a new study suggests.
The peer reviewed research shows that the expanding liquefying rate means the glacial masses poured approximately 83 billion tons into the Amundsen Sea every year in the course of last 21 years.
To be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the research utilized four sets of satellite estimates to establish the amount of ice loss in the Amundsen Sea embayment from 1992 to 2013.
Study co-author Isabella Velicogna, a scientist with the University of California and NASA declared : “The mass loss of these glaciers is increasing at an amazing rate”.
Researchers are most worried about the melting of Pine Island ice sheet, west Antarctica’s titan glacier. This ice mass has a huge outflow right into the sea because it does not have a floating shelf. The glacier has been diminishing and withdrawing for a long time, as indicated by a study distributed in Nature Climate Change. Scientists anticipate it will add 3.5 to 10 millimeters to the sea level in the following two decades.
The close-by Thwaites Glacier likewise gives off the impression of being in the early phases of a breakdown because of hotter water dissolving its underside. Researchers say it could throw another 60 centimeters to worldwide ocean level over hundreds of years.
This isolated and uninhabited part of the world is presently under scientific focus as it was the case with the Antarctic Peninsula where skimming ocean ice racks separated drastically more than 10 years back. Greater than the Australian Capital Territory, the floating Larsen B ice shelf broke into pieces in just a month in 2002. Another study made available this year in the journal Science revealed that the crumple was because of increased air temperatures and precipitation.
However the loss of the Larsen B had no effect on the oceans level- it was proportional to an ice cube in a glass of water.
On the other hand the loss of the Amundsen Sea icy masses will impact the oceans levels. A different recent Science entry discovered the west Antarctic ice sheet had gone into a permanent retreat.
Glaciologist Eric Rignot, of the University of California, estimated that this glacier turning to water will lead to a 1.2 meters increase of the oceans levels in the next 200 years. The forecast seems even more credible in light of the World Meteorological Organization’s announcement that 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded.
While west Antarctic ice is quickly withdrawing, the bigger east Antarctic ice sheet – generally set on rock above ocean level – may be picking up mass through expanded snowfall. However the newest evaluation made by UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that the loss of ice in the west is outpacing the development in the east.