Most of us have probably heard about that news from last year when a 225 square-mile chunk of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antractica collapsed into the sea. This year, earth scientists from the Ohio State University are telling us that they’ve discovered why – it’s all because of a huge crack that started below, 20 miles inland.
While it is natural for Pine Island icebergs to break off (since it happens every 5 to 6 years) this particular case is like nothing we have seen in the area and is therefore truly alarming.
In an interview with Gizmodo, Ian Howat, lead study author and associate earth science professor of Ohio State University, commented, “The calving event itself wasn’t a big deal. What made this one different is how it got started.”
Besides, the glaciers work like wine bottle corks that keep the ice but if the trend continues, then we should all prepare for the worse.
New research tells us That Pine Island, Thwaites, and other glaciers in the Amundsea are melting because of warm ocean waters. NASA has even pointed out that the collapse of the Amundsen sea sector is “unstoppable.”
Photos taken by the Sentinel-1A satellite over the years tell us that the crack started in 2013 and, in just two years time, an iceberg roughly ten times the size of Manhattan broke off.
“I think what we’re seeing is the surface expression of a much bigger valley at the base of the ice shelf. This tells us the ice shelf has weaknesses that are being exploited by increased ocean temperatures.”
With waters in West Antarctica continuing to warm up, the researchers are saying this could happen more often in the future.
You can watch the video here:
As Howat put it:
“If the ice sheet was going to retreat very slowly on long timescales, we’d just expect to see the usual calving. This event gives us a new mechanism for ice sheets falling apart quickly. It fits into that picture of a rapid retreat.”
“It’s generally accepted that it’s no longer a question of whether the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will melt, it’s a question of when,” lamented Howat.
“This kind of rifting behavior provides another mechanism for rapid retreat of these glaciers, adding to the probability that we may see significant collapse of West Antarctica in our lifetimes,” the professor further said.
Thanks To This Mom, We Now Have A Shopping Cart That Can Fit Seniors And The Disabled
This is shopping and caregiving made easier!
Shopping carts come with child seats in them makes it easy for parents to do their shopping with their tots in tow. But how about shopping carts that can actually sit adults and bigger children? Thanks to this enterprising mother from Alabama, this type of cart may come soon in groceries near you and make shopping more convenient for people accompanied by an elderly or those with special needs.
Drew Ann Long, a stay-at-home mom, came up with the idea when she cannot fit her 7-year old daughter Caroline in regular shopping carts.
Caroline, who is wheelchair-dependent, has become too big.
The Surreal Island Filled with Strangely Beautiful Plants
Have you ever wanted to see some of the world’s strangest plants? Then book a visit to Socotra!
In a tiny archipelago of islands in the Indian Ocean near the Aden Gulf lies a little island filled with plants you won't believe are real. 250km off the coast of Somalia and 340km off the coast of Yemen is Socotra Island, home to some of the world's strangest looking plants.
It's like being in a fairytale island...
With limestone caves, tall mountains...
This 3,000-Year-Old Plant Thrives in One of the Harshest Conditions in the World
We all know how many trees can live up to hundreds of years, but here’s one living plant that’s 3,000 years old!
In the middle of the harsh sandy plains of South America are plants that are so green and luscious that they look surreal amid their surroundings. And while these surreal green structures may look like moss-covered rocks, they're actually plants!
That's not a moss-covered rock in the middle of the desert; that's a Yareta plant!
The Yareta is a flowing plant that has lived for three thousand years. They're known as llareta in Spanish, and their scientific name is Azorella Compacta.
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