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INDIAN SCIENTISTS STUDY RAPID ICE LOSS IN ANTARCTICA



  May 15, 2024

INDIAN SCIENTISTS STUDY RAPID ICE LOSS IN ANTARCTICA


 
Panaji: Indian scientists from the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), alongside the British Antarctic Survey, are investigating the rapid reduction in Antarctic ice cover observed since 2016. This unprecedented melting has raised concerns about its implications for global warming and sea level rise.

Key Findings:

1. Faster Warming: Antarctica is warming more rapidly than climate models had predicted.

2. Sudden Decrease: The continent experienced a notable decrease in sea ice from 2016, with a particularly slow expansion or retreat in 2023.

3. Wind Patterns: Changes in atmospheric circulation, such as the deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low, caused strong northerly winds, resulting in record atmospheric warming and forcing the ice edge southward.

4. Weddell Sea Impact: A significant loss of ice, equivalent to the size of the UK, was recorded in the Weddell Sea in a matter of days.

5. Ross Sea Changes: In the Ross Sea, rapid ice extent changes were linked to the strengthening of an atmospheric block, bringing strong northerly winds and contributing to the low ice conditions.

Implications:

- Global Warming: The low ice conditions are likely to amplify global warming.

- Ecosystem Impact: There will be significant effects on the Southern Ocean's ecosystem.

- Sea Level Rise: Ice shelf stability and ocean circulation changes could lead to sea level rise.

The study highlights the need for further research to understand whether the recent ice level reductions are part of a long-term trend, given that satellite data covers only about 45 years.



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