Ticking Time Bomb Discovered

Posted by on Wednesday, April 19, 2017
cold, foggy, freeze

In East Antarctica, there is a massive floating ice sheet known as the Totten Ice Shelf.

Totten Ice Shelf is a large glacier draining a major portion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, through the Budd Coast of Wilkes Land in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The catchment drained by the glacier is estimated at 538,000 km2.

For now, the structure is stable, but researchers discovered warming waters underneath.

A team of researchers discovered that the warm water from the surrounding ocean is flowing underneath the sheet. This may melt away the ice, and melt it from underneath.

It has been thinning over the past few decades.

A study published in 2015 concluded that Totten Glacier has the largest contribution of ice thinning rate on the East Antarctic continent, and that the thinning is driven by enhanced basal melting.

The scary fact is that if the Totten Ice Shelf were to melt, it is estimated to have a catchment area capable of generating a sea level rise of 3.5 meters.

The Team

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