Latest researches show that Antarctica loses the majority of its ice from the underside of submerged ice shelves. According to a Science Daily report which is based on materials provided by the University of Bristol, some areas lose up to 90 per cent of ice.
The production and the melting of icebergs lead to ice erosion of 2,800 cubic kilometres every year in Antarctica. On the other hand, the majority of this ice is replaced when snowfalls occur. However, any such imbalance is responsible for a significant change in the sea level all over the planet.
It have been decades now that experts had the belief that the most critical process which is responsible the huge loss has been iceberg calving. In simpler words, iceberg calving means the breaking of ice chunks at glacier edges.
The University of Bristol led academics with their colleagues at the University of California and Utrecht University for coming to fresh conclusions that suggest that the sub-shelf melting is instrumental in causing iceberg calving in Antarctica. Climate and satellite model data were used for the research.
The new findings have been published on the Sept 15 edition of Nature. These materials are considered critical for considering how the ice-sheet works together with its other counterparts in the climate system. The most interesting observation is going to involve the ocean's relation with the ice sheet.
The ice sheet of Antarctica has consistently losing a significant amount of volume. One example may make the facts more transparent. The annual loss of the ice sheet is equal to 700 times of the 4 cubic kilometres every year. The amount equals the total domestic water supply in the UK.
Researchers have also found that there are a few ice shelves that lose almost 90 per cent of their mass through the melting. The good news is that there are some others who are affected only by 10 per cent.
To contact the editor, e-mail: