Larsen B could disappear within a Decade: Study
In 2002, Larsen B, an ice shelf in Antarctica partially collapsed. A novel research has found that the ice shelf, which is shrinking at a faster rate, could disappear within a decade.
Research team led by Ala Khazendar of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) unveiled that the ice shelf is flower faster than ever before. It is now developing cracks and the tributary glaciers that feed the Larsen B are also flowing faster and reducing in thickness.
Khazendar was of the view that all these factors indicate that the remaining part of the Larsen B is disappearing. The ice-shelf, which has been present for at least 10,000 years, will soon collapse. “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”, said the researchers.
The researchers said that shrinking ice in Antarctica is a clear indication that global warming has started to have a devastating impact on earth. Increasing greenhouse gas emissions, rise in temperatures and burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal are considered to be the main reasons behind the global warming.
The Antarctic Peninsula having a temperature rise of 2.5 degrees C over the last five decades is considered to be one of the fastest warming regions on earth. Not only Larsen B, but it was recently unveiled that Larsen C was melting from above and below. It is considered that it has been hit by warming surface and ocean temperatures.
Ice shelves, as per scientists, are gatekeepers in the frigid region. Without them, glacial ice will enter the ocean at faster pace and increases the pace of sea level rise. For the research, scientists have used data on ice surface elevations and bedrock depths from aircraft participating in NASA's Operation IceBridge.
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