Huge ice shelf in Antarctica to collapse by 2020. “They’re two fluids that are so different in their densities, they don’t mix,” said Mueller. Antarctic ice sheet collapse could add 3 meters to sea-level rise. "The Milne was very special," he added. By . A 4,000-year-old, 72-square-mile natural structure in Canada’s Arctic known as the Milne Ice Shelf lost two icebergs at the end of July, one of which was … Looking north along a rift in the Milne Ice shelf. The 72-square mile (187 square kilometer) undulating white ice shelf of ridges and troughs dotted with blue meltwater had been larger than the District of Columbia but now is down to 41 square miles (106 square kilometers). 5 / 5 ( 2 votes ) According to a new study by Nasa, Antarctica’s Larsen B ice-shelf is on course to completely disintegrate within the next five years. or. The ice shelf collapse on Ellesmere Island also meant the loss of the northern hemisphere’s last known epishelf lake, a geographic feature in which a body of freshwater is dammed by the ice shelf and floats atop ocean water. Huge Antarctic ice block poised to snap off, Near-atomic-scale analysis of frozen water, Characterizing the time-dependent material properties of protein condensates, Some droughts during the Indian monsoon are due to unique North Atlantic disturbances, Network isotopy: A framework to study the 3-D layouts of physical networks, Weathered microplastics found to be more easily absorbed by mouse cells than pristine microplastics. The Milne Ice Shelf, known as the last remaining ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic, broke apart over a two day period in July 2020. So Lai and colleagues used machine learning to identify fracture-like features in satellite pictures of Antarctica, before modelling which fractures were vulnerable to hydrofracturing. But scientists want to know if this event was similar to a strong early season melt that launched the 2019-2020 melt season. 23, 2020 , 11:30 AM. Last year, unusually warm air and water led to record-breaking melting across the Larsen C Ice Shelf. Lai said: “We predicted that the ice-shelves areas that can collapse due to hydrofracture are mostly the crucial part of ice shelves that hold back the upstream flow of ice sheets. Two giant icebergs formed along with lots of smaller ones, and they have already started drifting away, White said. The vast Greenland ice sheet lost mass again in 2020, albeit at a slower rate than last year, the report card states. Much of Canada's remaining intact ice shelf has broken apart into hulking iceberg islands thanks to a hot summer and global warming, scientists said. Chris Mooney. … By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy They developed a model to predict where fractures could form and found close agreement with the fractures mapped by their machine learning algorithm. The Milne ice shelf was on of the Arctic's few remaining intact ice shelves, but at the end of July 2020 about 43% broke off. Links to ice-shelf collapse. The content is provided for information purposes only. But if these shelves fracture and then collapse, the flow of melting glaciers into the oceans accelerates. "It seems we've lost pretty much all of them from northern Greenland and the Russian Arctic. The ice shelf had an area of about 290 square km (110 sq miles), in 1986. Temperatures from May to early August in the region have been 9 degrees (5 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1980 to 2010 average, University of Ottawa glaciology professor Luke Copland said. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. Most climatic models do not include the impact of hydrofracturing in their calculations, although one 2016 paper did account for them in a simpler way than the new study. Nasa: Antarctic ice-shelf will be gone by 2020. Top Searches Holiday Gifts. This is amplified Reporter covering climate change, energy and the … The article points out that this could result from ongoing global warming. "Without a doubt, it's climate change," Copland said, noting the ice shelf is melting from both hotter air above and warmer water below. Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. "It's an amazingly pretty location.". September 2, 2020 Antarctica Journal. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. “Increased meltwater ponding in resilient locations will not lead to widespread hydrofracturing according to our analysis,” the authors wrote. Supraglacial lakes can flex and fracture ice shelves when they grow and drain 7,8,27. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. She said it happened around July 30 or 31. The researchers hope their fracture model can help create more accurate models of the fate of the ice sheets, which together with climatic modelling will produce more accurate predictions of sea-level rise, which scientists believe could exceed one metre by the century’s end. At a Glance . Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. It is the second-largest ice shelf in the Arctic Ocean. They note that in summer 2020, the Milne Ice shelf collapsed losing 43 per cent of its expanse. Collapse of shelves would accelerate loss of Antarctic ice sheet and increase sea-level rise, Last modified on Thu 27 Aug 2020 04.36 BST. A tributary ice stream flowing from the Transantarctic mountains into the Ross ice shelf. This site uses cookies to assist with navigation, analyse your use of our services, and provide content from third parties. While some areas are not susceptible to fracture, Ching-Yao Lai of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and colleagues identified that 60% of the Antarctic ice shelf was both slowing the flow of ice into the ocean and also vulnerable to fracture. “But predicting how much and how fast the loss of Antarctic ice and sea-level rise will occur due to the hydrofracturing process will require coupling our new fracture model with an ice-sheet and climate model, which is an important next step.”. Approximately 60% of Antarctica’s ice shelves could be vulnerable to fracture, accelerating the loss of the Antarctic ice sheet and increasing sea-level rise, according to a paper. Click here to sign in with “However, predictions of future melt suggest that melt rates seen in locations that experience meltwater ponding today could become widespread by 2100 under high-emissions scenarios.”, The sounds of melting icebergs and whale songs: a journey into Antarctica – podcast. Medical Xpress covers all medical research advances and health news, Tech Xplore covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, Science X Network offers the most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. December 3, 2020 December 4, 2020 Larry Powell Blogs, Wildlife. The collapse of the Milne Ice Shelf in a combination of satellite images taken July 30 to August 4, 2020, over Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. © 2020 The Associated Press. This is on top of an Arctic that already had been warming much faster than the rest of globe, with this region warming even faster. It took just a couple of days Why is the CO2 level lower in my house than outside? Your opinions are important to us. The Milne Ice Shelf, a 4,000 years old shelf is a fragment of the former Ellesmere Ice Shelf, located in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. "There aren't very many ice shelves around the Arctic anymore," Copland said. Researchers on the vast expanse of the Milne Ice … Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. The Milne Ice Shelf is seen before its collapse last summer. Do equations for groundwater flow refer to water density? The unprecedented melt at Larsen C, which is Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf, coincided with record-breaking summer temperatures at a weather station in the Antarctic Peninsula, the research says. A study published in the journal Nature has mapped areas where ice shelves hold back upstream ice and are susceptible to “hydrofracture”, where meltwater flows into crevasses and fissures in the ice and enlarges them, potentially triggering the collapse of the ice shelf. December 12th, 2020 by Johnna Crider Half of Antarctica’s ice shelves could collapse in a flash, Live Science reports. In 2020, its size was around 187 sq kilometers. The researchers warned that while many areas of Antarctic meltwater were not currently likely to cause the hydrofracture of the ice beneath, with global heating these areas could become newly at risk in the future. Canada used to have a large continuous ice shelf across the northern coast of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, but it has been breaking apart over the last decades because of man-made global warming, White said. Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf experienced its highest rate of melting since records began 40 years ago from 2019-2020, a new study has found. 24. The Milne Ice Shelf acted as a sort of natural dam, trapping the meltwater at the head of the fiord and creating a rare epishelf lake—a layer of fresh water that floats directly on top of the ocean. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Fracture at the front of Ross ice shelf, the largest in Antarctica. There may be a few in a few protected fjords.". and Terms of Use. As giant ice shelves collapse amid global warming in the Canadian Arctic, experts call for more protection for the “Last Ice Area” and the diverse communities of plants and animals living there. National Snow and Ice Data Center . In 2015, a study concluded that the remaining Larsen B ice-shelf will disintegrate by 2020, based on observations of faster flow and rapid thinning of glaciers in the area. A platform of ice nearly four times the size of the UK is at risk of collapse. The ice shelf surface on the Larsen A was full of ponded meltwater just before its complete collapse in 1995; the same thing occurred before the near-complete collapse of Larsen B in 2002. Indeed, Pine Island’s ice has been flowing out to sea faster since the 1990s, with the ice stream now moving at a rate exceeding 35 feet per day, according to Drinkwater. A good example is the near-synchronous drainage of over 2750 lakes (up to 6.8 metres deep) on Larsen B Ice Shelf in the days before it collapsed in February-March 2002 27. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Phys.org in any form. Skip to main content. 5G and future 6G terahertz absorbed by water vapour = heating? By Charlotte Hartley Jul. They are 230 to 260 feet (70 to 80 meters) thick. This process could accelerate the loss of Antarctic ice more than some climatic models predict as atmospheric warming increases. Scientists have long been watching this climate-related event unfold, as the iceberg - about the... 2 results. Mw7.0 Greek islands off the coast of western Turkey, Meridional Heat Transfer - Ocean and Atmosphere, Today's Climate Change and the Permian-Triassic Boundary, Science X Daily and the Weekly Email Newsletter are free features that allow you to receive your favorite sci-tech news updates in your email inbox. Thus the loss of these ice-shelf areas due to hydrofracture can substantially affect the flow of ice sheets into the ocean. As meltwater rushes through the cracks in the Antarctic ice shelves, it can destroy the ice shelves in minutes or hours. Wed 26 Aug 2020 11.00 EDT 23.36 EDT Fracture at the front of Ross ice shelf, the largest in Antarctica. Trending . Satellites observed a huge calving event that caused unprecedented retreat of the ice shelf, further destabilizing it. While fractures in the ice are visible in satellite imagery, manual mapping is impractical because of the extent of the ice. August 10, 2020. You might note that in recent years the N coast of Ellesmere Island, where the ice shelf collapsed, has been ice free for most of the summer… a worrying new development… Meanwhile here’s your update on the arctic sea ice at over 1 month since minimum: still 1200km of open water from the ice edge to the Russian coast… extent and area at lowest for this date. Shares. Ottawa: Canada’s last fully intact ice shelf in the Arctic has collapsed, according to scientists at the Canadian Ice Service. part may be reproduced without the written permission. Data Sets for Research. — ECCC Canadian Ice Service (@ECCC_CIS) August 4, 2020 This summer, Canadian Arctic has been 5 degrees Celsius above the 30-year average, according to Copland, who has been part of a … Over a 2-day period at the end of July 2020, the Milne Ice Shelf underwent fracturing and collapse, losing 43% of its vast expanse as ice islands calved into the Arctic Ocean (see figure) . 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