Melting Ice Shelves Trigger Relentless Cycle of West Antarctic Ice Loss

Science Advances, 17 April 24

Researchers have identified a new positive feedback loop that intensifies ice shelf loss, suggesting that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is more vulnerable to temperature rise than previously expected. The feedback loop is self-reinforcing: increased ice shelf melting produces more freshwater, strengthening the undercurrent transporting warm water toward the ice shelves from further offshore. If current emissions continue, this cycle will grow stronger over time; and further destabilize West Antarctica as warm waters increasingly fill the cavities under ice shelves.

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By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published May. 14, 2024      Updated May. 14, 2024 10:41 am