The world is only a couple of years from a major catastrophe and there is an urgent need to pay more attention to the melting ice in East Antarctica. If urgent measures are not taken, the world will see an unstoppable slide of ice into the ocean which will raise the sea levels for thousands of years.
A recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change makes it clear that the ice shelves in East Antarctica is much more vulnerable to the effects of global warming and the repercussions will be widespread and will last for thousands of year.
The region in question is the Wilkes Basin in the East Antarctica, a big block of ice stretching over 1000 Km inland and has enough ice to raise the level of oceans by 3 to 4 meters, if it would melt as a result of global warming. The Wilkes Basin is particularly vulnerable to melting caused by the warming up of the ocean waters.
Matthias Mengel of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, lead author of the study in the journal Nature Climate Change, said in a statement, “East Antarctica’s Wilkes Basin is like a bottle on a slant. Once uncorked, it empties out,”
However there is time for mankind to put into place remedial measures to the relatively distant threat. The researchers have used simulation to come to this conclusion with waters which were 1 to 2.5 degrees warmer than they are today. So remedial measures undertaken immediately will help to prevent the tipping over of the balance and prevent the melting of the ice plug.
What will happen if all the ice in the Antarctica were to melt? It will raise the sea levels by more than 188 feet. A recent study has found that Antarctica ice loss has gone up by 50% in the last 10 years and a massive Antarctica glacier has gone into an irreversible melt mode which will increase the levels of the oceans by 1 CM.
Study co-author Eric Steig said, “These new results show that how much melt the Antarctic ice sheet experiences can be highly dependent on climatic conditions occurring elsewhere on the planet,”.