Warm Water Threatens Vast Anatarctic Ice Shelf
Scientists are predicting the disappearance of another vast ice shelf in Antarctica by the end of the century that will accelerate rising sea levels. The Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf fringing the Weddell Sea on the eastern side of Antarctica has so far not seen ice loss from global warming and much of the observation of melting has focused on the western side of the continent around the Amundsen Sea. But new research from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany says the 450,000-sq-km ice shelf is under threat.
The huge ice shelves that float on the seas fringing Antarctica provide a buffer against warming waters eating away at the base of the much larger glaciers behind them that sit on the land.