Climate change has been a subject of debate for many years now. However, in recent times the signs are more obvious that a potential calamity is heading our way. According to new findings made public by a joint team of researchers from multiple universities across the United States and Australia, global warming threatens to melt one of the world’s biggest glaciers.
The Totten Glacier is one of the largest glaciers on Earth, located in East Antarctica. After being under the scientists’ close observation for years, the joint team of researchers has concluded that it is starting to melt at an alarming rate. According to the scientific community, warmer ocean waters that got to the glacier from below is one reason as to why the icy giant may completely melt in the near future. Multiple cracks in Antarctica’s ice sheet have also been previously reported, but the Totten melting could lead to a disaster.
The study was published in the journal Science Advances last week, on Friday, December 16th and talks about the effect of the warm water on the Totten glacier. Before the scientists came in contact with the new information, it was already known that global warming was causing the glacier to melt. However, nobody expected that ocean’s warm waters would accelerate the process at such an incredible rate, says the lead author of the study, Steve Rintoul.
The most worrisome is that if the Totten glacier melts completely, this could raise the sea level by 137 inches, endangering coastal human establishments in the near future. in order to better understand how a change in sea level could affect humans in the future, a team of 30 researchers has been dispatched to further analyze the incident.
The researchers have departed from Hobart, Tasmania on December 8th, and will investigate how exactly does warm water seeps through the base of the glacier, when they reach Totten in late December. The team is composed of members from the University of Tasmania, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Australian Antarctic Division, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Image Source: Pixabay