Antarctic Ice Melt Could Lead to Enormous Disasters

Antarctic ice melting

After the Larsen C ice shelf recently collapsed, experts from all over the world have begun worrying about the Antarctic ice melt and its possible effects on the planet. What’s even more troubling is that with global warming still present, two other key glaciers might also melt. And this, according to a meteorologist, could even lead to an “ice apocalypse”.

In a recent article which Grist published this week, meteorologist Eric Holthaus is saying that two important glaciers called Pine Island and Thwaites might bring this “ice apocalypse” upon the world. According to him, they have been slowly approaching the Amundsen Sea for millennia. It seems like those two glaciers can also act as plugs to hold back about 11 feet of sea-level rise. This amount of water could be more than enough to swallow each coastal city on this planet. The good news is that nobody knows when or if these glaciers will ever melt. However, Holthaus thinks it’s highly possible, especially in the context of climate change.

A possible “ice apocalypse”

About 11,000 years ago, the two Pine Island Bay glaciers had collapsed because of what’s now called “marine ice-cliff instability”. This lead to the world’s last Ice Age. Holthaus says that back in those times, the temperatures were about the same as they are today. So, the premise is there for such a disaster to happen once again if the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers collapse.

National Geographic explains the gravity behind the dramatic ice melt on the Pine Island glacier. At the same time, it says that the Thwaites glacier can be even more dangerous. Should it ever melt, it can also destabilize a large part of the West Antarctic Ice Shelf.

As for Holthaus, he expects this collapse to happen in about 20 to 50 years, especially in the context of global warming. Should this happen, humanity would have little to no time to escape.

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