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The study found that the collapse of Antarctica is not inevitable

Scientists say that despite many scientists’ concerns, the collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet – which could cause a sudden rise in sea levels and affect coastal populations – can still be avoided.

One of the many problems with Global Warmingis that glaciers Melt earlier and earlier and fasterup to three times faster than before depending on the WWF. Thus glaciers and polar ice caps can experience “tipping points”, beyond which the consequences of global warming will be irreversible, both for human species and for biodiversity. Last September, a scientific study warned of the melting of the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica. called “The Glacier at the End of the World”, Its complete disappearance would cause an unprecedented rise in sea levels that would shift the continents. But to some extent, nothing has been decided yet and their fate is still in our hands. In fact, researchers concluded in a new study published Monday in the Nature Communications.

slowing the rate of ice sheet retreat

Is the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet irreversible? While some scientists fear that, regardless of future climate change, others are more accurate. A team of researchers in the US and UK has observed the development of West Antarctica, which is home to giant glaciers that are extremely unstable and contain enough ice to raise sea levels by 3.3 metres. According to their satellite records, the rate of ice sheet retreat in a vulnerable area of ​​the coast slowed between 2003 and 2015, due to changes in ocean temperatures. That is why, in their opinion, nothing can be taken for granted Radical change in our lifestyles, consumption and production. “It depends on how the climate will change in the coming decades, a change that we can positively influence by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”Eric Steig, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Glaciers sensitive to climate change

In their report, the researchers explained that in these regions of the world, winds usually blow from the west, generating warmer, saltier waters, which accelerate the melting of ice. But during the period studied, the intensity of these winds was weaker than in the Edmonsen Sea (South Pacific Ocean), which resulted in the glacier sparing some of these waters attacking it. “There is a strong relationship between climate and the way the ice behavesAnd says Fraser Christie, of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. “We have the opportunity to mitigate ice loss in West Antarctica – if we reduce our carbon dioxide emissions“, he recalls. Although he was not involved in this study, Anders Levermann, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impacts Research, welcomed the method used while insisting on the fact that the studied period is compatible”in a blink of an eye“From the point of view of ice. According to the scientist, it is necessary to continue to predict the rise of the ocean level”With the hypothesis of destabilizing West Antarctica“.

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