Global warming not sole reason behind massive Antarctic ice shelf's collapse

Subscribe to Oneindia News


London, Feb 8 : Two scientists have claimed that climate change was not the only cause of the collapse of a 500 billion ton ice shelf in Antarctica six years ago.

According to a report in BBC news, Neil Glasser of Aberystwyth University and Ted Scambos of Colorado University, US, have made this claim.

The 656ft (200m) thick, 1,255 sq mile (3,250 sq km) Larsen B shelf broke apart in March 2002.

When this ice shelf collapsed, researchers believed it to be the latest in a long line of victims of Antarctic summer heatwaves linked to global warming.

But, the new research has suggested that global warming was only one of a number of contributory factors for the incident, and a number of other atmospheric, oceanic and glaciological factors were involved.

According to Professor Glasser , "Because large amounts of meltwater appeared on the ice shelf just before it collapsed, we had always assumed that air temperature increases were to blame."

"But our new study shows that ice-shelf break up is not controlled simply by climate," he added.

"For example, the location and spacing of fractures on the ice shelf such as crevasses and rifts are very important too because they determine how strong or weak the ice shelf is," said Glasser.

According to Dr Scambos of the University of Colorado's national snow and ice data centre, the ice shelf had probably been in distress for decades before its demise.

"It's likely that melting from higher ocean temperatures, or even a gradual decline in the ice mass of the peninsula over the centuries, was pushing the Larsen to the brink," he said.

ANI

Please Wait while comments are loading...