Reports claim East Antarctic Glacier is melting at 70.8 billion tons per year due to warmer waters.


The East Antarctic Glacier is melting at a rate of 70.8 billion tons per year due to warmer waters:

The Denman Ice Shelf in East Antarctica is melting at a rate of 70.8 billion tons per year due to warm sea water intrusion, according to researchers at the Australian National Science Service.

CSIRO researchers, led by senior scientist Esmee van Wijk, said their observations suggested the Denman Glacier may be in danger of erratic retreat.

A remote glacier in eastern Antarctica sits above the deepest land canyon on Earth. It contains an amount of ice equivalent to a sea level rise of 1.5m.

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Until relatively recently, it was thought that East Antarctica would not experience as rapid ice loss as it does in the West. However, some recent studies show that warm water is reaching this part of the continent as well.

Australian scientists used profiling float measurements to show how much warm water reached the deep gully that extends beneath the glacier. They intended to study another glacier, Totten, but were approaching Denman as the swimmer drifted away.

The swimmer collected observations every five days for four months, starting in December 2020. From this data, scientists estimated how quickly warm water melts ice shelves (the fronts of glaciers floating in the ocean). Melting of floating parts of glaciers does not contribute to sea level rise. But Stephen Rintoul, one of the authors of the CSIRO-funded paper, said that as ice shelves thin and weaken, there is less resistance to the flow of ice from Antarctica into the ocean. said.

"It's the ice that flows from Antarctica into the ocean and causes sea levels to rise," he said.

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