Warming events may soon destabilize the Antarctic ice sheet. very soon

Here’s another reminder of the precarious position the world’s climate and ecosystems find themselves in: A new study estimates that global warming could push the Antarctic ice sheet past a tipping point in as little as 10 سنوات.

In other words, the point of no return in terms of ice cover loss will come sooner than previously thought, and we may already be in the middle of it. This could have serious consequences for global sea level rise and the local habitats on which Antarctic animals depend.

To get a better idea of ​​what’s happening now, the researchers looked back in time, studying the continent’s history over the past 20,000 years — until the last Ice Age — through ice samples mined from the sea floor.

“Our study reveals that in past periods when the ice sheet retreated, periods of rapid mass loss began ‘very suddenly, within only a decade or two,'” Paleoclimatologist Zoe Thomas saysfrom the University of New South Wales in Australia.

“Interestingly, after the ice sheet continued to retreat for several hundred years, it ‘extinct’ again, and it only took a few decades.”

When the icebergs separate from Antarctica, they float along a major channel called Iceberg Alley. Debris from these icebergs accumulates on the sea floor, giving researchers a history of about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) underwater.

By combining this record of natural iceberg drift with computer models of ice sheet behavior, the team was able to identify eight stages of ice retreat over the past millennia. In each case, ice sheet destabilization and subsequent restoration occurred within a decade.

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The findings published by the researchers bolster recent satellite images, which are only about 40 years old: they show increased ice losses from the interior of the Antarctic ice sheet, not just changes in platforms.

“We found that iceberg birth events on multi-year time scales were synchronous with ground ice discharge from the Antarctic ice sheet,” Ice scientist Nick Gouldge says:from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

The study showed that the same pattern of sea rise also occurred in each of the eight stages, with global sea levels affected for centuries and even a thousand years in some cases. Additional statistical analysis identified turning points for these changes.

If the current glacial shift in Antarctica can be explained along the lines of past events the researchers have identified, we may already be in the midst of a new tipping point — something we’ve seen in other parts of the world. The world and the Arctic in recent years.

“If it took a decade to bring down a regime like this, it would be very frightening because if the Antarctic ice sheet in the future behaves as it did in the past, we would have to suffer an inversion right now,” Thomas She said.

More evidence of these tipping points can be found on the islands Previously Analyzed area, researchers report, and the latest study is also consistent with Previous models Loss of ice cover in the area.

“Our results are consistent with a growing body of evidence suggesting that the acceleration of Antarctic ice mass loss over the past decades could mark the beginning of a self-sustaining and irreversible period of ice sheet retreat and significant global sea level rise,” Geophysicist Michael Weber says:from the University of Bonn, Germany.

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The search was published in Connecting with nature.

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