Antarctic ice shelves are shattering

Antarctic ice shelves are shattering

Recently, due to rising temperatures, the Ice Shelf in East Antarctica broke apart.

  • For the first time, scientists have observed the breaking of the Conger Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. This observation has been made possible due to the large scale satellite images.
  • Such incidents are happening due to rising temperature. Due to rising temperatures, both the North and South poles are witnessing an increase in the average temperature.
  • Also, a new research has highlighted that Antarctica will be approaching the “climate tipping point” by the year 2000. On reaching such a condition, the ice of Antarctica will start melting rapidly.

Climate Tipping Points:

  • These are the limits from which even a small change can push the Earth’s system into a sudden and irreversible change.
  • A total of 9 climate tipping points have been identified globally. Among them there is also an Antarctica Ice Sheet.

About Antarctica:

  • It is the 5th largest continent in the world. Antarctica contains 90% of the total amount of ice on Earth.
  • It contains 70% of the fresh water available on Earth. Antarctica is extremely important for the sustainability of the world’s ecosystems.
  • It absorbs 62% of the global heat and 40% of the total carbon dioxide emitted by human activities.
  • In addition, there are minerals (oil and gas); sea ​​creatures (finfish, krill, squid); and rich sources of genomic resources of endemic biodiversity exist.
  • The melting of the Antarctic ice cover could cause sea levels to rise by more than 60 meters.

Worrying situation: According to the evidence, many systems are heading towards becoming tipping points. It has accelerated in the last decade. Also, it has been said to have far-reaching effects (domino effect).

  • Frequent droughts in the Amazon rainforest;
  • Decrease in the area of ​​the arctic snow cover;
  • Atlantic circulation has slowed compared to the 1950s;
  • Increase in incidence of boreal forest fires and change in insect species coral reefs Wide-scale reduction;
  • Greenland’s snow cover is losing rapidly;
  • Permafrost is melting;
  • West Antarctica ice cover is being lost at a rapid pace;
  • There is a rapid loss of snow cover in the Wilkes Basin East Antarctica.

Source – The Hindu

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