Scientists from the UK have modeled climate change and concluded that a third of the Antarctic ice shelf could collapse. This will lead to a sharp rise in ocean levels.
More than a third of the Antarctic ice shelf will collapse into the ocean if global temperatures rise 4°C above pre-industrial levels. This is reported in a new study from the University of Reading.
Scientists have conducted the most detailed study to predict how vulnerable the ice will become in this area. The researchers also modeled at what point part of the Antarctic will collapse into the ocean if the temperature continues to rise.
The researchers found that 34% of the area of all Antarctic ice shelves (about half a million square kilometers) would be at risk of destabilization with 4°C warmings. If the warming does not exceed 2°C, then this will avoid a significant rise in the ocean level.
The researchers also said that the Larsen Glacier, the largest remaining ice shelf on the peninsula, from which iceberg A68 broke in 2017, will collapse first.
“Glaciers are important buffers that prevent uncontrolled sea level rise. When they collapse, it looks like a giant cork that is removed from a bottle, allowing a huge amount of water to enter the sea, the scientists noted. “We know that when melted ice accumulates on the surface of ice shelves, it can cause them to crack and collapse spectacularly. Global warming plays a big role in this”.