Antarctica’s ice shelves – the floating tongues of ice formed where the ice sheet meets the ocean – are especially useful indicators of a warming climate. Sandwiched between the atmosphere and ocean, they can be melted from above or below. Recent decades have seen the collapse of two Antarctic ice shelves, while a third is even melting during winter. Ice shelves perform a crucial role, holding back glaciers that would otherwise flow freely into the ocean, pushing global sea levels ever higher. Our new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, my co-author and I focus on how one half of the sandwich – the atmosphere – influences the stability of Antarctic ice shelves.
Carbon Brief 8th April 2021 read more »
The ice shelves which fringe Antarctica could be at major risk of collapse, potentially releasing “unimaginable” amounts of water into the ocean, if temperatures reach 4C above pre-industrial levels, research has warned. The UN’s IPCC has already said that as current global heating trends continue and if emissions are not rapidly halted, then our planet is on course to see average temperature rises pushing towards 4C by the end of the century. In this scenario, more than a third of the Antarctic’s ice shelf area could be at risk of collapsing into the sea, the researchers claim.
Independent 9th April 2021 read more »