A New Clue to Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse

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Just before the Hong Kong–sized Conger ice shelf in East Antarctica fell apart abruptly in late March, a storm called an atmospheric river swept over the continent. Although it's too early to tell exactly what happened with the Conger shelf, a new study shows 13 of 21 ice shelf calving events in Antarctica between August and March during the years 2000 through 2020 happened within five days after an atmospheric river, which can hold vast amounts of moisture and heat, and deliver extreme rain, snow, winds, and unusually warm temperatures. The possible environmental consequences? "When ice shelves collapse, the glaciers which feed into them speed up and contribute more to sea level rise,” says Alexander Robel, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences who was not involved in the study.

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College of Sciences, EAS

College of Sciences, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Alexander Robel, ice shelf collapse, atmospheric rivers, calving
  • Created By: Renay San Miguel
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 22, 2022 - 12:45pm
  • Last Updated: Apr 22, 2022 - 12:45pm