Rising Temperatures Endanger Sea Ice Bracing Large Antarctic Glaciers

The Cryosphere, 10 April 2024

Antarctica’s coastline is fringed with sea ice that buttresses large glaciers around the continent, but increasing exposure to large ocean waves in a warming climate could remove this protective barrier. In the Antarctic Peninsula, “land-fast” sea ice anchored to the Larsen B coast for over a decade broke away in January 2022; due to a combination of unusually high temperatures, record-breaking low levels of sea ice in the open ocean, and intense ocean swells. After this event, glaciers in the region responded by thinning, speeding up, and retreating by breaking off icebergs at remarkable rates. This study makes clear that if carbon emissions keep elevating temperatures, these extreme events will become increasingly common, ultimately producing faster global sea-level rise.

Full paper: https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/18/1709/2024

By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published Apr. 19, 2024      Updated Apr. 19, 2024 7:46 pm