It is impossible to eliminate the harm. Scientists are sounding the alarm about the melting of the giant Pine Island Glacier
December 17, 21:43 Share:
Pine Island could pose a real threat (Photo:BAS)
Scientists monitoring the decades-long melting of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica are warning of a new threat that will be impossible to prevent.
This glacier has been losing mass over recent decades, contributing more to global sea level rise than any other Antarctic glacier.. New modeling results show that this region of West Antarctica could face even greater destruction in the future, researchers write in an article for The Conversation
“When glaciers like those in western Antarctica experience a small retreat due to a particular climate change, they can continue to retreat even if the change has been reversed. Essentially, the glacier passes a tipping point and experiences rapid mass loss until it reaches a new state.. This type of retreat is irreversible because the climate change required to restore the glacier to its original position is much greater than what caused its retreat in the first place,” the article says.
The study, carried out by a team of researchers from Newcastle and Bangor, found that the Pine Island Glacier suffered irreversible mass loss back in the 1940s. The tipping point for glacier retreat ended in the 1990s. Stopping warming is no longer enough to reverse the harm. Even returning to previous climatic conditions may not be sufficient.
“If significant melting occurs at the base of a floating ice shelf, it may retreat past the tipping point. This means that even if it gets colder, the loss of ice mass may be irreversible. The future consequences of this are clear. What happened before can happen again. If we cross future ice tipping points, simply returning to previous climate conditions may not be enough to reverse the damage,” the scientists note.
As NV Techno wrote, according to scientists, the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers, due to the acceleration of their melting rates, can cause a significant increase in the level of the world's seas. Over the next centuries it may increase by 3.4 meters.
Read also: An iceberg the size of London breaks off from an Antarctic glacier Time bomb. How and why the Doomsday Glacier could become a death sentence for our planet. Can’t be saved even in Ukraine? What would happen if all the glaciers on Earth melted?