More than a third of the Antarctic ice shelf could collapse


AA | Monday, April 12, 2021 – 17:25 | Last Updated: 12 04 2021 – 17:25

Noting that if the ice shelf collapses, the melting of the continental glaciers will accelerate the mixing of the sea, the researchers warned that this could significantly increase the global seawater level.

Scientists have warned that global warming could lead to the collapse of one-third of the Antarctic continent’s ice shelf.

Scientists from the University of Reading, England, in a study published in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters,” said that if the global average temperature rises 4 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period, 34 percent of the ice shelves in Antarctica will collapse and 67 percent of the ice shelf area will disappear. He made his prediction.

The researchers, who conducted a detailed regional climate modeling in order to evaluate possible scenarios regarding the warming-related state of the continental shelf, revealed that in the worst scenario, the ice shelf of approximately 500 thousand square kilometers would collapse and drift away from the continent.

Noting that if the ice shelf collapses, the melting of the continental glaciers will accelerate the mixing of the sea, the researchers warned that this could significantly increase the global seawater level.

“Ice shelves serve as a buffer for the melting of glaciers on land to flow into the ocean. When the shelf collapses, it becomes like a stopper in the mouth of a giant bottle, unimaginable amounts of water suddenly begin to flow from the glaciers to the sea,” said Ella Gilbert, lead author of the study, a faculty member in the Department of Meteorology at Reading University. used the expressions.

The “Larcen B” ice shelf in the northwest of Antarctica collapsed between January and March 2002 and was in the process of extinction.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as the “Paris Agreement” of 2016, aims to limit the global temperature rise to a maximum of 2, preferably 1.5 degrees, of the pre-industrial period until the end of the century.