Last updated 4 months ago by Michael Darmanin
Climate researchers from the Utrecht University, in collaboration with other scientists, are paving the way for a revolution in the study of melting ice-caps in the Antarctic.
There is a difference between land-based ice formations and their edges, the latter being called ‘ice shelves,’ which float in the ocean. Because they are already in the water, the melting of ice shelves will not result in an increase of sea levels. Nonetheless, a danger still remains: if the ice shelves vanish, the land-based ice formations will fall into the water and therefore lead to higher sea levels.
The clock is ticking
A recent study indicates that 60% of ice shelves are at a risk of coming apart and letting land-based ice to slide into the seas. The reason for this is rising temperatures. Due to the heat, water sneaks into existing cracks of the ice shelves which further widens them and makes the whole formation more likely to come apart.
Hope from a revolutionary approach
Researchers point out that currently few ice shelves are actually melting and that most of them are only vulnerable at this stage. Using artificial intelligence, scientists are learning how to find the cracks in the ice shelves, paving the way for a revolution in this field.
Source: Utrecht University