Tech & Science : The world's largest glacier in danger? Its cast iron would lead to an unprecedented rise in water

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Les eaux bordant le plus grand glacier du monde sont de plus en plus chaudes, selon une nouvelle étude. © supplied by Gentside The waters bordering the largest glacier in the world are increasingly hot, according to a new study.

The largest glacier on the planet is in danger. According to a new study published on Tuesday, August 2 in the journal Nature Climate Change , The East Antarctic Inlandsis , this immense expanse of continental ice which covers most of the Antarctic - with layers that can reach Up to 4,000 meters thick - would be bordered with hottest waters .

Now, if it were to melt, The level of the oceans would rise by about 60 meters , as specified the coalition for Antarctica and the southern ocean ...

the East Antarctic Inlandsis in Danger

" Our discoveries underline the urgency of limiting global warming below 1.5 ℃, to avoid the most catastrophic climate damage ", alerts Laura Herraiz Borreguero, oceanographer to the Australian National Scientific Agency (CSIRO) , and the main author of this work, in an article published on the site The Conversation .

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If we already knew that global warming has serious consequences on the waters of the planet, whose climb could force us in the near future to flee the coasts, we did not know that warmer waters would succeed in Fraying your path to this glacier, which was thought to be partly preserved of climate change, unlike the glacial cap of Western Antarctic.

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but the research of the team of climatologists has shown that the Eastern Antarctic is not spared by the phenomenon of warming overall. According to their study of 90 years of oceanographic observations in the region, they thus evoke an unequivocal upheaval ".

and for good reason: the waters of the southern Antarctica experienced an increase in temperature evaluated between 0.1 to 0.4 degrees in addition per decade during the first half of the 20th century. Then, the phenomenon accelerated in the decades that followed, and this increase passed between 0.3 and 0.9 degrees per decade from the 1990s.

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a consequence of climate change?

The researcher explains further that climate change is indeed responsible for this temperature increase. But not as direct as one could imagine.

Thus, since the 1960s, the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have changed the winds, bringing the western winds to Antarctic during the summer. And this upheaval had the consequence of draining warmer waters in the region.

and even the very cold waters of Eastern Antarctica do not resist this new heat. And the phenomenon is probably just starting. "Part of our research focused on the Vanderford glacier in East Antarctica. There we observed hot water which replaces the cold water on the dense plateau," explains Laura Herraiz Borreguero.

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