Key Glacier In West Antarctica Breaking Apart From Inside Out  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

CleanTechnica has an article on danger signs emerging on the west antarctic ice sheet - Key Glacier In West Antarctica Breaking Apart From Inside Out — “We May See Significant Collapse Of West Antarctica In Our Lifetimes”.

One of the key glaciers in West Antarctica, as far as the stability of the ice sheet there, Pine Island Glacier, was the site of an enormous 225-square mile iceberg calving in 2015. New research from Ohio State University has determined that this event was even more notable than first thought, as it was the result of a deep, subsurface crack that had formed approximately 20 miles inland — nowhere directly near the calving event.

What this means is that the the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is becoming more unstable far inland, rather than just at the edges in, or near, direct contact with the ocean — very likely due to mechanisms similar to those witnessed in Greenland in recent years. As the bottom of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet actually lies below sea level, relatively warm ocean water can make it far inland, unseen, slowly eroding the foundations — causing increased ice sheet flow, mobility, breakage, and general instability.

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