The recent climate modeling research that examined the influence of accelerated ice melt from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) on future climate shows significant global climate effects.
A team of climate scientists explains how future climate conditions could vary under low- and high greenhouse gas emissions situations, while accounting for accelerated melting of the AIS. The scientists’ findings are truly astonishing. Here is what you need to know.
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Scientists have acknowledged for a long time that future meltwater input from the AIS will trigger the global climate and the Southern Ocean. The ice-sheet processes, however, are not now comprised of most state-of-the-art climate forecast simulations. The team reported that their modeling with the included ice melt data unveils interacting processes.
For the recent research, Shaina Sadai, the first author and graduate student at the Unversity of Massachusetts Amherst, Alan Condron of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, David Pollard of the Pennsylvania State University, and Rob DeConto at UMass Amherst, had to quite the work. They added accelerated AIS melting and icebergs into simulations of Earth’s future climate. One essential step was to comprise the details of where and when the meltwater will go into the ocean.
Sadai explains: “With higher greenhouse gas emissions, the ice sheet melts faster, which in turn leads to more freshwater flowing into the ocean and more sea ice production.”
All that extra sea ice production and meltwater tragically slow the pace of future warming around Antarctica. Remarkably, climate impacts are not only restricted to the Antarctic.
Pollard and DeConto added that the future sea level’s future stability and the AIS rise would be triggered by which process wins out – atmospheric cooling or ocean warming? Trying to answer this question is what scientists are doing now. Their work still needs time and attention. We’ll just wait and hope for some meaningful insights.
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