DAA Daily

Norwegian seafloor offers insight into Antarctic melting

By: Andreea Dibo, Health & Environment, The Pawprint

According to new research, the melting ice sheet in Antarctica may recede far more quickly than previously anticipated.

The proof comes in the form of seafloor traces off the coast of Norway that show the retreat of a vanishing European ice sheet thousands of years ago.

The glaciers in Antarctica that are receding the fastest are now seen to do so at a rate of up to 30 meters per day.

However, if they accelerated, the additional melt water would have significant effects on sea level rises all throughout the world.

Since the 1990s, the surface of the world’s oceans has already risen by almost one centimeter due to ice loss from Antarctica brought on by climate change.

Importantly, the areas with the fastest rates were those with relatively flat seafloors. These are areas where the thickness of the ice above is more likely to be uniform and where less melting is needed to make the ice float to speed up its retreat.

Because the Norwegian research region is so much larger, it provides a much clearer picture of how quickly ice can retreat in a warming climate.

Today, scientists utilize satellites to keep an eye on the glaciers that terminate in the ocean in Antarctica. The spacecraft can determine where the tides are raising and lowering the ice.

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