Climate change and the global warming are causing a lot of harm to this world. Animals are losing their habitat, temperatures are rising, trees and plants are disappearing and the sea ice is melting. Another thing that was caused by the high temperatures and the warm waters was the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
This was caused by the weak coastal ice that split the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Last year an iceberg cleaved from a part of the Ice Sheet. Researchers have analyzed the rupture and saw that it formed 20 miles inland.
This breakup has been happening for more than two years now and a part of the ice sheet now forms a separate ice shelf. Experts are very concerned about this situation and they are no longer wondering if the sea ice will melt, they just want to find out when.
“This kind of rifting behavior provides another mechanism for rapid retreat of these glaciers, adding to the probability that we may see significant collapse of West Antarctica in our lifetimes,” mentioned an associate professor, Ian Howat.
Experts observed that there is inland cleaving in Greenland. The last research showed that this pattern is common for Antarctica too. This means that the ice sheet is going to slip apart and then melt. The problem is that the ice sheet is breaking in the middle, not like the usual rifts that are formed at the margins.
This is concerning because this means that the breakup is going to happen really soon and that there might be no hope for the West Antarctic ice sheet. The fact that the split is happening in the middle means that something might have weakened the ice shelf. Experts believe that the ice sheet is melting because of the water temperatures which are too high for this period.
The West Antarctic ice sheet is breaking step by step and researchers were able to identify another rift that formed on the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf. This was observed on at the beginning of this month by scientists who conducted an aerial survey over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
What is your opinion about this breakup? Do you think that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will split in a few years?
Image source: Flickr