Researchers in the US and several other countries published a study on Monday that found that two of Antarctica’s fastest-changing glaciers, Pine Island Glacier and Thyites Glacier, have developed “cracks and open fractures”, which are due to their structural weakness Show signs of. ”
The researchers wrote in the abstract, “These loss zones are highly cracked zones and open fractures and are the first indication that the shear zones of both ice shelves have been structurally weakened.”
Due to decades of changes in atmospheric and oceanic conditions, the melting of glaciers has caused sea levels to rise. According to the study, Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier accounted for about 5 percent of global sea-level rise.
“Both glaciers show distinct changes in recent decades, changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions, increasing the sea-induced melting of their floating ice shelves,” the researchers said.
According to The Science Times, global sea level is rising at a rate of about 1.4 inches per year.
If both glaciers break, “too many neighboring areas will also fall apart, causing widespread collapse” and a significant rise in sea level, Indrani Das, an international thawaites glacier collaboration in Columbia and one for the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Research Professor. University, told the outlet.
Damage to the Pine Island Glacier began to develop around 1999 and damage development for the Thwaites Glacier began around 2000 but “moved forward” around 2016, satellite imagery shows.
The “shear zone” or areas of severe deformation of glaciers has increased by about 30% since 1992 and the fastest growth occurred between 2000 and 2010.
Researchers concluded that it is impossible for glaciers to completely collapse in the near future as surface level melting is very low, but losses in shear zones “make them vulnerable to large-scale damage and grounding line retreats.”