An international team of scientists reconstructed the history of the largest ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. The new batch of data unveils incredible yet shocking information about the ice shelf.
The team’s goal was to offer the best picture of how Antarctica’s largest remaining ice shelf survived for the last 10,000 years.
Here is what you need to know.
Reimaging the Largest Ice Shelf in Antarctica: a Tough Journey of Survival
Larsen C Ice Shelf is a remnant of a much bigger ice area and the largest ice shelf in Antarctica. Back in the 1990s, that area had started to experience quite the terrors when it broke up (Larsen A). And as if it wasn’t enough, years later, in 2002, had experienced another collapse (Larsen B).
The new reconstruction comes in help to scientists to help them better understand if and when the remnant ice shelf could fall again.
The team used geological records to reconstruct the history of Larsen C and succeeded in revealing some deep-buried secrets.
“[…] should collapse of Larsen C happen, it would confirm that the magnitudes of ice loss along the eastern Antarctic Peninsula and underlying climate change are unprecedented during the past 10,000 years,” explained Dr James Smith, a marine geologist and the lead author.
Over the last two decades and a half, a lot of the region’s ice shelves have collapsed. Larsen B had also started experiencing a rapid disintegration back in 2002.
Moreover, the following breakup of ice shelves over the eastern Antarctic Peninsula is connected to warmer atmospheric temperatures. Such a thing influenced the area to move slowly southward over the last 50 years. But that’s not the only thing to blame.
The increased warm ocean currents are also shaping the ice shelves’ future by weakening them from below.
Such reconstructions like the recent one are very useful in determining Antarctica’s ice situation.