East Antarctica's Largest Glacier Is Melting Due To Warm Ocean Water

Posted: Dec 20 2016, 5:36am CST | by , Updated: Dec 20 2016, 9:14pm CST , in Latest Science News


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East Antarctica's Largest Glacier Totten is Melting due to Warm Ocean Water
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  • Totten Glacier in Antarctica is Disappearing due to the High Temperature of the Oceanic Water

The Totten glacier which is the largest of its kind in all of Antarctica is disappearing fast due to the high temperature of the oceanic water that surrounds it.

Totten happens to be East Antarctica’s largest glacier. It is melting from within at present. A study regarding this confirmed the fact with the relevant evidence.

The high heat levels of the ocean have caused a flooding of the bottom ice sheet thereby creating movement at a rate of 220,000 cubic meters per second.

This flood is causing the glacier to lose 63 to 80 billion tons of ice. Almost 10 meters of thickness is being lost on an annual basis, according to HuffingtonPost. The study concerning this melting glacier was carried out by two universities in tandem.

It got published in the journal Science Advances.

Totten could melt to the extent that a huge portion of it, almost as big as the state of California, wanders off into the sea. This could cause sea levels to rise globally by 3.5 meters.

The researchers went underneath the glacier and noted down the erosion and melting process due to the high temperature water and acidic seawater.

What the scientists concluded was that the rapid basal melt of the Totten glacier due to warm circumpolar deep water was taking place. There was a cavity and the existence of warm water at the ice front.

A deep trough lent this water access to the cavity. Thus the large Totten glacier is the fastest melting structure of Antarctica. The retreat of glaciers in Antarctica is proceeding at a brisk pace.

Since the past 100 years, as global temperatures continue to soar, the average sea level has risen by 7 inches around the world. Were all of the Antarctic ice sheet to melt, the sea levels would rise by 200 feet. This would no doubt be a catastrophe in the making.

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