A team of researchers has discovered that one of the biggest glaciers in the world has retreated over a distance of three miles due to global warming. The Denman Glacier is located in East Antarctica, and the retreat process reinforces theories which argue that the sea-level could increase soon.
Current data infers that if the entire glacier melts, the sea level will rise by five feet. More than 268 billion tons of ice has already vanished between 1979 and 2017.
It was previously thought that East Antarctica isn’t as susceptible to increased temperatures, but an exploration of several giant glaciers has shown that this is not the case. Research corroborated by the cryosphere science community mentions that ice sheets found within the region could become unstable.
Global warming caused another glacier in Antarctica to retreat significantly
The melting process is considerably faster in West Antarctica. Still, the impressive size of the Denman Glacier and of other glaciers that can be found within East Antarctica infers that the consequences could be quite dire. During the study, the scientists focused on the grounding line of the Denman Glacier, which is the point where ice begins to float in the ocean. With the help of radar data from the COSMO-SkyMed satellite network, a significant change related to the grounding line retreat has been observed.
It is worth noting that while the eastern side of the glacier is protected from the retreat by a subglacial ridge, the western site does not have this advantage. A steep trough can be encountered on the west side, and researchers worry that it could boost the speed at which the glacier melts.
The specific shape of the area found in the western zone can also ensure that the retreat will be irreversible, and leading to a significant sea-level increase. In 2019 a different team discovered that the trough which can be found below the glacier makes it deepest land canyon in the world. All that is due to global warming
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.