Antarctica's Rising Bedrock Could Slow Down the Melting Ice Sheet

Editorials News | Jun-29-2018

Antarctica's Rising Bedrock Could Slow Down the Melting Ice Sheet

A new research by DTU Space at the Technical University of Denmark in collaboration with Colorado State University has revealed that the bedrock below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much faster than previously estimated. These new insights on the geology of Amundsen Sea Embayment and its interaction with the ice sheet prove a rapid bedrock uplift that can promote ice sheet stability. The observations were published in the journal Science. There was a surprising mechanism behind this rising bedrock called glacial isostatic adjustment. This mechanism helps in slowing down the demise of the ice sheet by lifting up bedrocks and sediments beneath them. 

West Antarctica contains a lot of ice. And if the ice of the entire region melts, it would lead to 10 feet average of global sea rise if it would melt. Apart from this, the ice sheet is so large that if the ocean bulge it gravitationally attracts is release, it can lead to an increase of three feet or more of sea level in some parts of northern hemisphere. Scientists have long been concerned about the importance of this ice sheet and its hazardous nature in the face of a warming climate as it is grounded hundreds of feet below sea level. Even though the research gives a positive outcome but even then, if the future global warming is extreme, this ice sheet will still melt. Therefore, international cooperation is still necessary to prevent global warming.

By: Neha Maheshwari


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