The increasing level of heat warms the environment, which eventually affects ice sheets across the globe. Well, it is a part of the natural process, which often takes place regularly. According to researchers, the melting of the oldest Antarctic ice raised sea levels by approximately 10 feet, around 129,000 years ago. Researchers have also warned that the event could take place again. A new study reveals that increasing temperatures have resulted in the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The event took place during the so-called Last Interglacial period, i.e., around 129,000-116,000 years back. As per researchers, warming of temperatures, even lower than 2 degrees Celsius, is enough to trigger the catastrophic event.
The study includes the participation of scientists from the University of New South Wales in Australia. During the trial, the researchers have visited a blue ice region present near the Patriot Hills on the border of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Chris Turney, the leading author of the study, said instead of boring deep into the ice, they can walk around a blue ice region and come back via eras. The collection of ice samples from the surface has enabled researchers to rebuild the event that took place in the past.
The study offers proof that the melting of the West Antarctic has a greater contribution to increasing sea levels. As per the researchers, during the Last Interglacial, global sea levels have had been amid 19.7-29.5 feet more than nowadays. Before this, researchers were unsure about the arrival of extra water. Scientists say the loss of mountain glaciers, the interior expansion of the warming ocean, and the melting ice sheets of Greenland, have only accounted for a total of around 3 meters of sea-level rise. Study’s co-author Zoë Thomas said the positive reactions between an ice shelf downfall, a warming ocean, and ice sheet melts’ pinpoint that the West Antarctic may be at risk to pass a peak point. The team has presented its findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists.