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Third of Antarctic ice shelves ‘ is at risk of collapse amid 4C global heating’

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    13th Apr, 2021

More than a third of the vast floating platforms of ice that surrounds Antarctica is at risk of collapse and releasing a huge amount of water into the sea if global temperatures reach 4C above pre-industrial levels.

Context

More than a third of the vast floating platforms of ice that surrounds Antarctica is at risk of collapse and releasing a huge amount of water into the sea if global temperatures reach 4C above pre-industrial levels.

About

About the Study

  • The Researchers said that the limiting the temperature rise to 2C could reduce the risk by half.
  • The study suggests that around 34% of the Antarctic ice shelves could be collapsed due to the rise in temperature by 4C.

Antarctica Ice Shelves

  • Ice shelves are permanent floating sheets of ice which is connected to a landmass.
  • It mostly surrounds the coasts of Antarctica.
  • Ice shelves are important buffer that prevents glaciers on land from flowing freely into the ocean and contributing to sea level rise.
  • The collapse will break the ice shelves and will allow the unimaginable amounts of water from glaciers to pour into the sea.
  • The new study uses the latest modelling techniques to provide more precise projections and fill the gap in earlier methods.
  • This study also highlighted the importance of limiting the global temperature increases as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement that promotes a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting the global warming to less than 2C above pre-industrial levels.
  • With the help of study researchers identified the Larsen C, the largest remaining ice shelf, as at higher risk in a warmer climate situation.
  • The other shelves facing the threat includes Shackleton, Pine Island, and Wilkins.
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