Most Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Stable Despite Global Warming, New Study Confirms

The central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts, a new study has found.

The findings are significant because some researchers predict the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt quickly due to global warming.

If the East Antarctic ice sheet, which is 10 times larger than the western ice sheet, were to melt, it would cause sea levels worldwide to rise almost 200 feet (60 meters).

Team members taking a short ice core to study properties of sediment coming from the East Antarctic ice sheet.  The research team found layers of sediment and rocks that built up over time, recording the flow of the ice sheet and reflecting climate change

The study, conducted by researchers based at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, was led by Dr. Kathy Licht, an associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences in the School of Science at IUPUI.

Dr. Licht led a research team into the Transarctic Mountains in search of physical evidence that would verify whether the long-standing idea is still true: That the East Antarctic ice sheet is stable.

For a long time, the East Antarctic ice sheet has been considered relatively stable because most of the ice sheet was thought to rest on bedrock above sea level, making it less susceptible to changes in climate.

However, recent studies have shown widespread water beneath it and higher melt potential from encroaching ocean water.

By contrast, the West Antarctic ice sheet is a marine-based ice sheet that is mostly grounded below sea level, which makes it much more susceptible to changes in sea level and variations in ocean temperature.

WHY THE EAST ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET IS MORE STABLE

The West Antarctic ice sheet is a marine-based ice sheet that is mostly grounded below sea level, which makes it much more susceptible to changes in sea level and variations in ocean temperature than the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

By contrast, the East Antarctic ice sheet has been considered relatively stable because most of the ice sheet was thought to rest on bedrock above sea level, making it less susceptible to changes in climate.

‘Some people have recently found that the East Antarctic ice sheet isn’t as stable as once thought, particularly near some parts of the coast,’ Dr. Licht said.

Recent studies have found that the perimeter of the East Antarctic ice sheet is potentially more sensitive and that the ice may have retreated and advanced much more dynamically than was thought, Dr. Licht said.

‘We believed this was a good time to look to the interior of the ice sheet,’ Dr. Licht said.

‘We didn’t really know what had happened there.

After their expedition, the research team found evidence confirming the stability of the East Antarctic ice sheet at an altitude of 6,200 feet, about 400 miles from the South Pole at the edge of what’s called the polar plateau, a flat, high surface of the ice sheet covering much of East Antarctica.

H/T The GWPF

Read more at Daily Mail

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    The Arctic Ice Free by 2014 according to Al Bore IF YOU WANT TO KNOW IN THE ARCTIC IS ICE FREE JUST ASK A ARCTIC TERN or POLARBEAR WHO DONT MARCH FOR THE NRDC or GREENPEACE

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Put 91 volcanos under an area the size of the USA and see how stable it is . Antarctica could use a lot of global warming .

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