Antartica ice to melt by 2020: NASA study

Antartica ice to melt by 2020: NASA study

Antartica ice to melt by 2020: NASA study

Written by Staff Writer

18 May, 2015 | 11:39 am

According to a new NASA study one of the last remaining sections of Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf is dramatically weakening.

The study predicts that what remains of the once-prominent ice shelf, a thick floating platform of ice, most likely will “disintegrate completely” before the end of this decade

Ice shelves are extensions of glaciers and function as barriers. Their disappearance means glaciers potentially will diminish more quickly, as well, increasing the pace at which global sea levels rise.

A team led by Ala Khazendar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, found evidence of the ice shelf flowing faster and becoming more fragmented. The flow is creating large cracks in the ice shelf.

“These are warning signs that the remnant is disintegrating,” Khazendar said in a NASA press release. “Although it’s fascinating scientifically to have a front-row seat to watch the ice shelf becoming unstable and breaking up, it’s bad news for our planet.”

The Larsen B Ice Shelf has existed for at least 10,000 years.


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