Antarctic ice-sheet melting to lift sea level higher

By | May 5, 2021

According to a new study by Harvard researchers, previous studies have significantly reduced global sea level associated with the possible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

The report, published in Science Advance, has made new calculations for what the researchers refer to as the water removal mechanism. This occurs when the solid bedcraft of the West Antarctic ice sheet sits upward on the insolation as the ice melts and the ice sheet’s total weight decreases.

The bedroom sits below sea level, so when it lifts, it pushes water from the surrounding area into the sea, raising the global sea level.

New predictions suggest that in the case of a total collapse of the ice sheet, an increase in global sea level within 1,000 years would be estimated by an additional meter.

“The magnitude of the impact shocked us,” Linda Pan, a Ph.D. In Earth and Planetary Sciences at GSAS, who co-led the study with fellow graduate student Evelyn Powell. “Previous studies had believed the mechanism to be unacceptable.”

“If the West Antarctic ice sheet collapsed, it would result in 3.2 meters of the most widely cited estimate of sea level rise globally.” “What we have shown is that the water removal mechanism will add an additional meter or 30 percent to the total.”

But it is not just the story of the impact that will be felt in hundreds of years. One of the simulations Pan and Powell indicated that by the end of this century the global sea level rise due to the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet would be increased by 20 percent by the water expulsion mechanism.

“Every published projection of sea level rise due to the melting of the western Antarctic ice sheet, based on climate modeling, whether the projection extends to the end of this century or longer into the future, is revised upward Have to go about their work, “Jerry X. Mitrovica, said Frank B. Baird Jr., a professor of science in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and a senior writer on the paper. “everyone.”

Pan and Powell, both researchers in the laboratory of Mitrovica, began this research while working on another sea level change project, but switched to it when they noted more water expulsion from the West Antarctic ice sheet, which They were expecting.

Researchers wanted to investigate how low viscosity, or the easy flowing material of the Earth’s mantle beneath West Antarctica, influenced sea level changes. When he included this low viscosity in his calculations he realized that water expulsion occurred much faster than in previous models.

“No matter what scenario we used for the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, we always found that this one meter of global sea level rise occurred.”

Researchers hope that their calculations show that in order to make an accurate estimate of the global sea level associated with melting ice sheets, scientists need to include both the ejector effect and the viscosity of the mantle under Antarctica. .

Pan said that when the ice melts stop, the sea level rises. “The damage we are doing to our coastlines will continue for centuries.”

Climate change is creating an unprecedented crisis as ice sheets continue to melt. Now, a new study says that the global sea level could rise by 20 percent by the end of this century due to the continued melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

On several occasions, scientists have warned of the dangers posed by the rapid melting of snow coverings and sheets that could submerge towns and cities around the world. But the potential risk of sea level rise from the West Antarctic ice sheet was reduced so far. This implies that the rise in sea level will be much higher than before.

The study was published in the journal “Science Advance” and carried out by researchers at Harvard University in the United States. He used the new calculation based on what he saw with the ice sheet, which he referred to as the “water expulsion mechanism”.

Simply put, the mechanism occurs when the solid base of the ice sheet begins to move upward, reducing the total weight of the ice sheet. Under normal circumstances, a solid base or “bedrock” remains below sea level. But when it rises on its own, the waters of the surrounding area are pushed into the sea, contributing to the global rise in sea level.

An simulation conducted by scientists showed that by the end of the ongoing century, a 20 percent increase in the water expulsion mechanism could occur along the West Antarctic ice sheet. If the ice sheet collapses completely, the global rise in sea level will increase by an additional meter within 1,000 years.

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