Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapse Discovery

Grace King-Wagner, Reporter

Fear has risen all around the world due to a recent discovery of an Antarctic sheet collapsing and flooding many areas of the Earth. The polar caps are melting, and nothing will stop them as the temperatures of our Earth are rising.

Global floods have been occurring due to a huge Antarctic ice sheet that’s melting rapidly. This is happening at the same rate as the last interglacial period caused catastrophic global floods. 125,000 years ago, the world’s temperatures were similar, scientists have suggested.

Temperatures during the interglacial period were similar, only being one or two degrees higher on average. The interglacial period was also known as the Eemian, and sea levels were between six to nine meters higher. The most recent ice age froze the earth, but although temperatures are once again on the rise, sea levels only rose modestly.

Evidence has suggested that a huge mass of water is currently locked away in the Western Antarctic ice sheets. This mass of water was exposed during the Eemian period.

There’s a theory that the warmer climate caused the ice sheet to melt and what was dry land became subaquatic terrain.

Sediment cores were taken from the western Antarctic and were brought to an American Geophysical Union in Washington, DC. Again provides evidence that the ice sheet disappeared during a period of similar climate to ours today. “We had an absence of evidence,” said Anders Carlson, a glacial geologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “I think we have evidence of absence now, our record thus provides the first direct indication of a much smaller last interglacial West Antarctic ice sheet,” the research paper says, adding the work provides the historic geological context for the susceptibility of the West Antarctic ice sheet to collapse again.”

The collapse of the vast ice sheet covering Greenland had been blamed for the surge in sea level rises during the Eemian period. In 2011, a team led by Mr. Carson excluded Greenland from the investigation after isotopic records suggested that during this period ice had continued to grind away at the surface of the rock. The team then turned to the West Antarctic ice sheet. They then studied 29 marine sediment cores to identify relevant isotopes created by erosion of rock by ice.

Later part of the Eemian period, the record from the West Antarctic ice sheet completely disappeared, it had melted. Mr. Carlson’s team then studied one core in particular, from the Bellingshausen Sea, west of the Antarctic Peninsula. These studies provided a 140,000-year record of deposits from various land masses that were eroded by sea ice. “We don’t see any sediments coming from the much larger West Antarctic ice sheet, which we’d interpret to mean that it was gone. It didn’t have that erosive power anymore,” Mr. Carlson said.

3 trillion tons of ice have been recorded lost from the continent in the past 25 years. Scientists have warned us this September, this UK-sized Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica is “fast retreating and this volume of water alone would ultimately raise global sea level by about three meters”…“Nasa has detected new signs large glaciers in East Antarctica, previously thought to be stable are losing ice, also raising the prospect of catastrophic sea level rises as global temperatures increase.”