Antarctic Glacier to Rapidly Melt in Decades to Come: Geologists Find
By Parismita Goswami | February 21, 2014 7:22 PM EST
A recent study by a team of global geologists has shown that Pine Island Glacier (PIG) that has contributed to about 25 percent of total ice loss in Antarctica may continue to melt for decades to come.
Antarctic Glacier to Rapidly Melt in Decades to Come: Geologists Find (Representational Image)
Antarctic Ship Trapped in Ice: Helicopter Arrives at Scene, Complex Plan to Rescue Russian Vessel Underway [Videos]
PIG located in West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is the single and largest contributor to the increasing sea levels.
The team revealed that the 8,000 year old glacier is thinning faster than in recent years. which is thought to be due to the increased amount of warm ocean water that is hitting and passing by the ice layer.
Scientists fear that the shrinking glacier could raise the sea level by 10 millimeters (0.4 inch) in the next couple of decades. Since 1990's, PIG has shrunk by 5 feet per year and since then more concerns have risen over the increased ocean level.
The present models are not reliable regarding the regularity and rate of the future sea level rise. But with the use of highly sensitive dating techniques, geologists were capable of showing that the past shrinking of PIG lasted for many decades.
"Our geological data show us the history of Pine Island Glacier in greater detail than ever before. The fact that it thinned so rapidly in the past demonstrates how sensitive it is to environmental change; small changes can produce dramatic and long-lasting results. Based on what we know, we can expect the rapid ice loss to continue for a long time yet, especially if ocean-driven melting of the ice shelf in front of Pine Island Glacier continues at current rates," Nature World News quoted lead study author, Joanne Johnson from the British Antarctic Survey.
"This paper is part of a wide range of international scientific efforts to understand the behavior of this important glacier. The results we're publishing are the product of long days spent sampling rocks from mountains in Antarctica, coupled to some exceptionally precise and time-consuming laboratory analyses. The results are clear in showing a remarkably abrupt thinning of the glacier 8,000 years ago," said Mike Bentley, co-leader of the project.
The details of the findings have been published in the Science journal.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Getting Serious With Jennifer Lawrence, Actress Joining Coldplay Tour [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Volcano Eruption In Iceland: Lava Erupts More Than 50 Meters High, Prompts Aviation Alert [Video]
- UFO Sighting in Australia: A Mysterious 'Flying' Object With Changing Colors Observed[Watch Video]
- Bad Memories Can be Changed into Good Ones, Say Scientists
- Walking Fish Reveal How Our Ancestors Evolved Onto Land (Watch Video)
- Stargazing: Saturn, Moon and Mars Meet Up Last August 31
- Apple iPhone 6 Actual Release Date after September 9 Confirmed 128GB Variant with New Resolution
- Moto G2 Release Roundup: Specs, Pricing, and Release Date Details
- PlayStation 4 Killing Xbox One Costing Microsoft Millions But It's Fine
- Google Chrome 64-bit for Windows 8 and Window 7 with Mac Beta Available
- Apple iOS 8 vs Android 5.0 L: OS Wars Puts Android to Lower while Apple to Higher
- Nexus 6 on Release Date Confirmed with Phablet-Size Display as FCC Filing Hints of 5.9-Inch Screen
- Google Can Kill Samsung with Android KitKat and Android One: Here's How