US News Antarctic ice shelves are melting from within as well, making them a lot more fragile says ESA

18:34  12 october  2017
18:34  12 october  2017 Source:   International Business Times

'Mysterious' marine life lies under iceberg

  'Mysterious' marine life lies under iceberg A team of scientists is planning an expedition to explore the hidden marine life which has been exposed by a trillion-ton iceberg breaking off the West Antarctic ice shelf. The 2,200 square mile section of the Larsen C ice shelf - almost four times the size of London - snapped off in mid-July, reducing the size of the shelf by 12% and changing the landscape of the peninsula forever.The release of the new iceberg - called calving - means researchers can now for the first time investigate the "mysterious marine ecosystem" that has been hidden beneath it for up to 120,000 years.

While the fact that sheets are getting thinner from the top surface is common knowledge, recent research has shown that the shelves have become a lot more fragile since they are melting from within as well .

The Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf fringing the Weddell Sea, Antarctica , may start to melt rapidly in this century and no longer act as a barrier for ice streams draining the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These predictions are made by climate researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine

Dotson ice shelf © NASA/JPL Dotson ice shelf The European Space Agency (ESA) has discovered that large "canyons" are being carved out within Antarctic ice shelves due to the ice melting from inside. While the fact that sheets are getting thinner from the top surface is common knowledge, recent research has shown that the shelves have become a lot more fragile since they are melting from within as well.

This discovery was made after studying data from the CryoSat and Sentinel-1 satellite missions, the space agency said.

Ice shelves are thick bands of ice that surround Antarctica and provide reinforcement for ice sheets on the continent. These shelves extend out into the sea and float on the water, and one of their major roles is to slow down ice sheets in their gradual seaward drift.

Johnson insists he backs PM's 'every syllable'

  Johnson insists he backs PM's 'every syllable' Boris Johnson has used his Tory conference speech to praise Theresa May and insist the cabinet is entirely united behind her approach to Brexit. The foreign secretary said he backed "every syllable" of Mrs May's recent speech in Florence, where she revealed details of Britain's divorce from the European Union."The whole country owes her a debt for her steadfastness in taking Britain forward as she will to a great Brexit deal," Mr Johnson told a packed hall of conference delegates.The Uxbridge MP's comments come after cabinet warring over his repeated interventions on Brexit.

Antarctic research details ice melt below massive glacier. September 12, 2013. That makes sense when they talk about more snow and ice accumulating in East Antarctica . I remember that there are active tectonic and volcanic regions in West Antarctica .

Scientists fear that melting Antarctic ice could drastically raise sea levels. They found it melted sea ice , redirecting warm currents under the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf . First, the warm air will make the ice that’s floating in the sea thinner and more fragile .

However, the ESA points out that there have been a "worrying number of reports" about ice shelves thinning and breaking, like the recent one where a trillion-tonne shelf the size of Manhattan broke off.

Video: Antarctic Hole The Size Of South Carolina Opens (Wochit)

What to watch next
  • Trump tweets foreboding warning about Puerto Rico which was he calls a 'disaster before hurricanes'

    Trump tweets foreboding warning about Puerto Rico which was he calls a 'disaster before hurricanes'

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:33
  • 130,000 Square-Foot Lego House Opens in Denmark

    130,000 Square-Foot Lego House Opens in Denmark

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:53
  • American Hostages Freed From Taliban After Five Years Of Captivity

    American Hostages Freed From Taliban After Five Years Of Captivity

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:46
  • Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens to Pull Emergency Responders

    Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens to Pull Emergency Responders

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:46
  • EU Negotiator Claims Brexit Talks Hit A

    EU Negotiator Claims Brexit Talks Hit A "Deadlock"

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:42
  • Trump Slams Puerto Rico While US House Weighs $36.5 Billion In Disaster Relief

    Trump Slams Puerto Rico While US House Weighs $36.5 Billion In Disaster Relief

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:55
  • SkyWise Weather for the Southwest

    SkyWise Weather for the Southwest

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    1:39
  • SkyWise Weather for the Pacific

    SkyWise Weather for the Pacific

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    1:26
  • New satellite photos reveal the California wildfire's shocking damage from space

    New satellite photos reveal the California wildfire's shocking damage from space

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:26
  • SkyWise Weather for the Midwest

    SkyWise Weather for the Midwest

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    1:52
  • At least 23 dead, hundreds missing, as winds fan California fires

    At least 23 dead, hundreds missing, as winds fan California fires

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:43
  • Fire Weather to Persist as Crews Battle California Blazes

    Fire Weather to Persist as Crews Battle California Blazes

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:34
  • Cara Delevingne Joins Weinstein Accusers List

    Cara Delevingne Joins Weinstein Accusers List

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    0:29
  • SkyWise Weather for the South

    SkyWise Weather for the South

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    1:52
  • SkyWise Weather for the Gulf Coast

    SkyWise Weather for the Gulf Coast

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    1:52
  • SkyWise Weather for the Northeast

    SkyWise Weather for the Northeast

    Wochit News Logo
    Wochit News
    1:52
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

This thinning and breaking of shelves could allow the inland ice to flow faster into the ocean, says the report, which will further add to the rising sea levels.

European papers give May speech damning verdict

  European papers give May speech damning verdict <p>Theresa May's calamitous conference speech has attracted ridicule in Europe.</p><p></p>The P45 stunt, her persistent cough and lettering falling off the conference stage behind her have left journalists abroad with plenty of damning assessments.

Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves are responsible for most of the continent's ice shelf mass loss Large regions showing small values are within error bounds. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UC Irvine/Columbia University › Browse version of image PASADENA, Calif.

Coastal ice shelves are thinning and the process is speeding up, making it easier for land ice to reach the sea In particular, ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea, which regulate a lot of West Antarctica ’s ice , lost 8 per cent of Some parts of Antarctica are melting much faster than others (see this map).

"Melt from the Dotson ice shelf results in 40 billion tonnes of freshwater being poured into the Southern Ocean every year, and this canyon alone is responsible for the release of four billion tonnes – a significant proportion," said Noel Gourmelen, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh.

He added, "It is the first time that we've been able to see this process in the making and we will now expand our area of interest to the shelves all around Antarctica to see how they are responding."

The inverted canyons along the Dotson ice shelf are 200m deep and 15km across, and run the entire length of the underside of the shelf, Gourmelen said. He added that the rate of melting is increasing by about seven metres a year.

One of the possible explanations provided by the ESA as to how these canyons form is that it is caused by sub-glacial water that drains out from beneath the ice into the sea causing the ocean to stratify – form layers that act as barriers to water mixing – in this case based on temperature. The report says that warmer water collects at the bottom. This water is at 1 deg C.

When cold meltwater from the shelves pours into the ocean, it rises because it is less dense that seawater, but as it rises, it takes the warm water along with it to the upper surface of the sea and causes the underbelly of the shelf to melt as a result.

Another situation that could cause this level of melting is the way in which the ocean circulates under a shelf, the ESA reports. Using the CryoSat to study changes on the surface of the ice shelf and the Copernicus Sentinel-1 to learn how the shelves flow, researchers were able to learn more about the process.

"Revisiting older satellite data, we think that this melt pattern has been taking place for at least the entire 25 years that Earth observation satellites have been recording changes in Antarctica," said Gourmelen.

'Millionaire' Vegas gunman: What we know so far .
Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527 others after opening fire on a concert from the window of his Las Vegas hotel room. As authorities piece together the timeline of the attack, Sky News takes a look at the man behind the worst mass shooting in modern US history.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!