Monday, April 23, 2018 | Updated at 1:28 AM ET


Antartic ice shelf may recede within 100 years, research explains

First Posted: Nov 30, 2016 04:59 AM EST
Antartic Ice Shelf May Recede Within 100 Years, Research Explains

Photo : Gallo Images

A major glacier in West Antartica is thinning from the inside out, a research said.

The Pine Iceand Glacier, part of the shelf that bounds the West Antartic Ice Sheet, is one of two glaciers that is believed to melt quickly. Sadly, more ice from the inside part of the sheet to the ocean will also thin. This collapse will submerge the world's coastlines.

The iceberg split from the glacier in 2015. However, Ohio State University researchers  conducted several software to process images that they spotted unusual things in satellite images taken before the event took place.

According to Ian Howat, associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, it is not about whether the West Antartic shelf will recede, it is a matter of when. He added this rifting behavior describes how these glaciers will experience a  meltdown sooner than expected.

The fact the Pine Island Glacier split from the inside out sends a warning signal that the ice sheet continuesto melt, Howat said as quoted in

Howat explained that  the first strong evidence is seen in the satellite images that these large Antarctic ice shelves responded quickly to changes at the ocean edge, which is similar to what happened in Greenland.

According to some studies,  the West Antarctic Ice Sheet tends to be unstable, and may disappear within 100 years. The collapse will spee up an increase in sea level to nearly 10 feet, which  can flood big U.S. cities such as New York and Miami and force 150 million people living on coasts worldwide to leave their habitats.

Meanwhile a separate research published in "Nature" last week suggests that the melting of the Pine Island Glacier began in the 1940s, thanks to the result of El Nino activity. Sediment cores from beneath the glacier were obtained by researchers to show that a rift was already seen even before the 1940s. 

With the probability of the meltdown of the West Antartic ice sheet, we may see the irony in the future: The West Antartica will disappear.

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