Winds Will Take Out The Larsen C Ice Shelf Before Climate Change Can

Winds Will Take Out The Larsen C Ice Shelf Before Climate Change Can

Antarctica’s fourth largest ice shelf, the Larsen C Ice Shelf located on the Antarctic Peninsula, risks collapse due to mountain winds, according to a recent presentation at annual meeting of the European Geophysical Union.The Larsen C Ice Shelf currently experiences the highest surface melt rates across Antarctica. And scientists speculate that melt rates have been increasing in response to strengthening circumpolar winds that result from ozone depletion and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. The simulation found foehn winds drive the highest melt rates and govern the variability of melt across the ice shelf.The recent computer model, using measurements of the ice shelf and atmosphere gathered between November 2014 to June 2017, claims climate change has increased the dominant control on Larsen C surface melt - the occurrence, strength and warmth of foehn winds. Other models say these regions are now prone to melt water ponding, which is the precursor to hydrofracture, when crevasses are driven open by the weight of water generated by surface melt. “This region is one of the fastest-warming on Earth and currently experiences the highest surface melt rates across Antarctica.

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