According to recent research, warmer waters are heading towards the East Antarctic ice sheet.
Research has reported that the change in water circulation in the Southern Southern Ocean could compromise the largest ice sheet in the world . It is that of East Antarctica. The change in water circulation is caused by different wind patterns and climate change.
Hence, warmer waters and rising sea levels can harm marine life and threaten human coastal settlements. Global warming should be limited below 1.5 ° C. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions must decrease by 43% by 2030 and be close to zero by 2050.
Ice caps are ice accumulated from precipitation on Earth. The Antarctic ice sheet is melting and sea level rises. The research focused on the Aurora Subglacial Basin in the Indian Ocean, a specific region that is part of the East Antarctic ice sheet. If the basin were to melt completely, then the sea would reach a level increase of 5.1 meters.
Scholars looked at 90 years of oceanographic observations off the Aurora. The rate of warming of the oceans has tripled since 1990. Here’s how that warming is associated with climate change. The answer is found in the westerly winds over the Southern Ocean. Since the 1960s, these winds have moved south towards Antarctica. This phenomenon seems to be due to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. So westerly winds are approaching Antarctica in the summer, bringing warm water .
The study’s focus then shifted mainly to the Vanderford Glacier in East Antarctica. Here, warm water was observed replacing colder water. The forecast is that of a sharp deterioration in the movement of warm waters towards Antarctica. In the past, it was assumed that warming arrived first on the surface layers of the ocean. Now, however, it is attested that the one that heats up first is the deepest water.
Climate change has a major impact on marine life. Antarctic krill, for example, reproduces by leaving its eggs deep in the ocean. Heating can affect egg development. Thus it consequently harms krill and predators such as penguins, whales and seals.
- Warm Waters Are Rushing Towards The World’s Largest Ice Sheet, Scientists Warn (sciencealert.com)