According to a new study, scientists have found damage to two large Antarctic glaciers through satellite imagery.
Researchers from the United States and several other countries published a study Monday that found that two of Antarctica’s fastest-growing glaciers, Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier, have developed “cracks and open fractures” that show “signs of their structural weight loss. ”
“These areas of damage consist of severely cracked areas and open fractures and are the first signs that the shear zones on both ice shelves have weakened structurally over the past decade,” the researchers wrote in the summary.
For decades, changes in atmospheric and ocean conditions have caused sea levels to rise due to melting glaciers. According to the study, Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier are responsible for about 5% of global sea level rise.
“Both glaciers have shown marked changes in recent decades, caused by changing atmospheric and ocean conditions, which are causing ocean-induced melting on their floating ice shelves,” the researchers said.
Global sea levels are rising at a rate of about 1.4 inches per year, according to The Science Times.
If both glaciers collapse, “many neighboring areas will also collapse, causing large-scale collapse” and a significant rise in sea level, Indrani Das, a research professor at the Twates International Glacier Cooperation and the Lamont-Doherty Observatory at Columbia University. at the exit.
The evolution of damage began around 1999 for the Pine Island Glacier, and the evolution of damage for the Thwaites Glacier began around 2000, but “moved higher” around 2016, satellite images show.
The “shear zones” of glaciers or areas of severe deformation have increased by about 30% since 1992, and the fastest increase occurred between 2000 and 2010.
Researchers have concluded that it is impossible for glaciers to collapse completely in the near future because surface melting is so small, but damage to shear zones “makes them vulnerable to increased mass loss and ground line retreat.”