Antarctic Glacier Might Irreversibly Continue Its Decline

Pine Island Glacier

Global warming is melting the ice from the glaciers hence increasing the sea level and posing a serious threat for cities and towns situated along the coast. Based on the topic a team of scientist found that the Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier which is considered as the single major contributor for the rise in the world sea level, is melting continuously year after year and is believed to contribute nearly a centimetre (0.4 inches) rise in sea level in the coming 20 years. Recession of the ice sheets seem irreversible even if the effect of global warming is reversed. 

As per Gael Durand, a glaciologist with France’s Grenoble Alps University:

The glacier has started a phase of self-sustained retreat and will irreversibly continue its decline.

In order to forecast the glacier’s prospect, researchers put forth three different types of models corresponding to the grounding line. This line is the edge that lay submerged in water and sandwiched between floating ice & the firm grounded ice, part of the continent, which is still in touch with the land but is wrapped up with ice sheets.

As per the study this grounding line in the past decade has retreated to almost 10 kilometres (six miles) and is seems to be busy in an unsteady 40 km (twenty five mile) withdrawl. Pine Island Glacier alone is accountable for pouring 20 percent of the total ice lose from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Researchers are of the view that the average ice loss from the glacier is going to rise substantially from 20 billions tonnes as recorded in 1992-2011 to soaring 100 billion tonnes each year in the future. That would mean around 3.5 to 10 millimetres (0.14-0.4 inches) increase in the sea level worldwide in the coming 20 years.

The sea level rise rate has already doubled reaching 3.2 mm in 2010 in just two decades time. As per the European Space Agency, the rate of ice discharge from the West Antarctic is ever increasing and is at present 150 cubic kilometres (36 cubic miles) per year. By 2100, with this speed of ice discharge from the glaciers seem to increase the global sea levels in-between 26 and 82 centimtres (10.4 and 32.8 inches) as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC).

The scientists are cautiously keeping the track of ice layer of great Greenland and Antarctica glaciers, as the rise in sea level is posing serious threat for the cities situated at the coast. Complete melting of the ice from these two glaciers alone can lead to almost 200 feet rise in the sea level.


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