German researchers have found evidence that areas in Antarctica, previously thought relatively safe from the direct influence of climate change, are melting rapidly.
An Antarctic area previously thought stable is at risk of melting rapidly within the next century, new research suggests.
In a study published earlier this month, a team from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany says the now-intact Filchner-Ronne ice shelf in the peripheral Weddell Sea could disintegrate, pushing parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet into retreat.
The German researchers found that rising temperatures could thin the ice on the Weddell Sea, sending warm ocean currents under the frozen Filcher-Ronne ice shelf and accelerate melting.
It is well known in the climate science world that warm water sinks, and then suddenly rises when it finds an ice shelf to melt. The same reason why people ride cold air balloons in the winter – when ambient temperatures are very hot.
The increase in sea ice around Antarctica is a sure sign that the oceans are heating up fast.
Antarctica is looking a bit chilly this week at -108 degrees, but the big meltdown will likely start next week.