Satellite images cause severe damage to 2 major Antarctic glaciers


According to a new study, scientists have damaged two major Antarctic glaciers through satellite imagery.

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 become structurally weak.”

Development of damage in Amundsen embankment. (Photo credit: PNAS research article, “Damage Accelerates Ice Shelf Volatility and Large-scale Damage in Amundsen Embankment”)

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% of global sea-level rise.

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“Both glaciers show distinct changes in recent decades, changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions, which cause 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.

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If both glaciers break, “too many neighboring areas will also fall apart, causing widespread collapse” and a significant rise in sea level, Indrani Das, a research for the International Thawaites Glacier Collaboration in Columbia and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Professor. University, told the outlet.

The Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is seen in this NASA image.  (Handout via Reuters / NASA / Reuters)

The Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is seen in this NASA image. (Handout via Reuters / NASA / Reuters)

Damage development for Pine Island Glacier began around 1999, and damage development for Thwates 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.

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The researchers concluded that it is impossible for glaciers to completely collapse in the near future because surface level melting is very low, but damage in shear zones “makes them vulnerable to enhanced mass loss and grounding line retreat.”