Antarctica is losing its ice shelves faster that scientists previously thought, according to a new study. The study reveals that those ice shelves are likely melting 70% faster than previously thought. The news comes as climate change, and global warming have become mainstays in the daily news cycle. However, instead of the news being about state representatives banning the words, more scientific evidence has come out to show just how much damage is being done to the place we call home.
The lashing that Earth has been taking has been felt hardest at the poles of the Earth. The study shows that we might actually be closer to the so-called “tipping point” that scientists have been warning about for decades, than previously thought. In fact, the ice shelves, which ultimately hold back the glaciers in Antarctica are melting at such a rate – that scientists are upping their overall concern level, pointing out that in the last decade alone – ice shelves have melted 70% faster than they did before that.
Members of the team pointed out that, “If the rate of change that we have observed remains the same, then we should expect a larger contribution of the ice sheet to sea level rise.” One ice shelf in Antarctica, which saw the most dramatic drop off in depth – is falling at a rate of 118 feet per decade. If that trend continues, the amount and sheer volume of ice that would be lost – could become insurmountable.
This is just the latest in scientific discovery when it comes to climate change and confirming the fact that the globe really has been warming at an accelerating rate over the course of the last several decades. Now, with temperatures globally rising by the year and more concern than ever in preventing permanent damage from being done to Earth thanks to the human imprint we’re leaving – this is just another piece of evidence to be layered with the rest of the information we have.
The problem with ice shelves isn’t specifically what they contribute to water rise. Rather the bigger problem is what happens when those ice shelves melt, and the glaciers that sit behind them begin losing ice at a faster rate. Ultimately, what we’ll see then is a significant rise in water level in oceans around the world and the birth of an entirely new set of problems.