July 14, 2024

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They discover why one part of Antarctica is melting faster than the rest of the white continent.

They discover why one part of Antarctica is melting faster than the rest of the white continent.

Melting ice is affecting West Antarctica more than East Antarctica, raising a big question for experts (BAS/LA)

the Antarctica It is one of the regions most affected by global warming, as rising temperatures lead to melting ice, which may endanger the environment. Balance the whole continent.Frozen mass loss occurs in West more than EastWhich raises a big question for experts who analyze the game of polo.

Thanks to Geological samples and paleoclimatic modelingA possible cause for the difference in melting could be identified: variations in the times the Antarctic shelves formed. The results are published in the journal Sciences.

on 34 million years Some time ago, a climate phenomenon occurred that the planet Earth went through for a period of “greenhouse“(“greenhouse“), where there are no continental ice sheets, to one of”Ice house“(“Cold storage“), with large frozen platforms, which is what the world is currently experiencing. These periods have been alternated throughout the planet’s history due to changes in the atmosphere, orbit and oceans. Antarctica began permanent icing at that moment.

The team of scientists was led by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute. Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI, abbreviated in English), determined that ice first formed in the eastern part of Antarctica and more recently After 7 million years It spread to the western part of the continent. Previously, this progress was not known due to lack of data, and it was assumed that the formation of ice shelves occurred uniformly throughout its extent.

Geological samples and paleoclimatic modeling have revealed differences in melting due to different times of formation of the Antarctic platforms (NASA OPERATION ICE BRIDGE, 2016).

The study was conducted based on an analysis of cylindrical soil sample Which was extracted using the MARUM-MeBo70 seabed drilling rig off Pine Island Glacier Which is located in the Amundsen Sea (West Antarctica), as explained by the AWI in a condition.

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The results found no evidence of ice in the western region during the first million years of Antarctica’s formation. Experts’ theory is that this region of the continent provided lush forests and some Moderate to cold temperatures Which did not allow ice to form.

Paleontologist Gerhard Schmidl from the Centre for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) at the University of Hamburg was commissioned to analyse Foraminifera which were in the sample. They are single-celled organisms that live inside calcareous shells, and these structures can be discovered millions of years later. “The animals indicate Recurring plankton blooms And the corresponding pulses of nutrition on the sea floor, as well as the regular supply of fresh water via rivers from the land. “These data also point to initial ice-free conditions in West Antarctica,” he commented.

A cylindrical soil sample was extracted from the front of Pine Island Glacier in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica. (NASA)

the Simulation They have been instrumental in understanding the formation of Antarctic ice. With new data, researchers have discovered that “the basic climate conditions for permanent ice formation exist only in coastal regions of the world.” Northern Victoria Land East Antarctica,” comments from AWI.

This was due to the arrival of moist air to Transantarctic Mountain Range It generated enough cold and moisture for the snow to remain and then ice to form.

This spread westward. After 7 million yearsWhen the ice sheets had already settled in the east. The models clearly showed how cold it was at that time to generate Ice spreadThey can also predict the two regions’ reactions to external changes, such as: Increase in temperatureThis situation is happening today, and the study shows that the ice in West Antarctica is melting more easily precisely because it is It was formed later. Who makes up the eastern section?

At the time of the beginning of the Ice Age, West Antarctica was characterized by dense forests and moderate to cold temperatures (NASA)

In this way, existing knowledge about past climatic conditions was expanded, and the “greenhouse“For”Cold storage“The reason why global warming affects one part of the continent more clearly and not in the same way across its entire extent.

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New information collected may be incorporated into Climate models In order to more accurately predict the changes that the Earth will undergo due to greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity and the negative effects of climate change. Climate change.