British scientists have mapped half-sized craters in the Grand Canyon that allow warm seawater to erode the vast Dwights glacier in the Antarctic, accelerating sea level rise around the world.
As the teeth decay, tracks of warm water melt the ice from below, threatening the stability of the iceberg larger than Great Britain.
Using an aircraft, ship and robot submarine British Antarctic Survey A U.S. team found the seawater surface and the bottom of the ice shelf to measure the open spaces between the previously landed areas of the glacier.
They measured two old holes about six miles (10 km) across and 800 meters deep, allowing warm water to flow under the ice. These have evolved over at least 10,000 years. In addition, they mapped out many new, thin fissures that branched from these main trunks in the midst of warmer temperatures over the past 30 years.
The results were released this week In Cryosphere Magazine. The good news is that the new channels are not as big as previously thought, which means that the decline of the Tweets should not come with fear. The bad news is that scientists believe the pits are expanding, but do not know how fast they are.
“Before we did this research, it was assumed that all the channels were the same, but the new ones are much thinner and more energetic.
“Understanding that process and how these holes are formed will be important for Tweets and Westerners to understand. Antarctica Will change in the future. ”
That is one of the most important questions in the world today. The Dwights Glacier covers an area of 74,000 square miles (192,000 sq km) and is particularly susceptible to climate change.
Over the past 30 years, ice loss from the Dwights and its neighboring glaciers has more than quadrupled, with global sea levels rising by more than 4%. If the glacier collapses completely, it will add another 25in (65cm). Many scientists believe this process is already underway, but the speed of the decline is unknown.
The new study is part of an effort to assess those risks by collaborating with the International Dwights Glacier.
“We’re halfway through the process, so these are interim figures,” Jordan said. “Intuitively, it appears that new thin holes will allow for less hot water, so the collapse of the glacier will be slower than previously believed, but it needs to be confirmed. This data should be included in future models.”
There has been some debate about geoengineering to prevent the flow of warm water, but Jordan said it is more expensive in such a remote region. Instead, he called for reducing emissions in a more cost-effective way to mitigate climate impacts.
“Theoretically, we could build a dam to prevent hot water from coming in. But these channels are ridiculous. We can intervene much cheaper by reducing carbon dioxide,” he said.