Everybody, including Leonardo DiCaprio, has acknowledged that climate change is real and that it’s happening. The United Nations has advised developing and developed nations across the world to take steps to reduce global warming. Climate change continues to make its impact felt in our day-to-day lives. From extreme hot weather in summer to extreme cold weather in winter, the changes in weather conditions have never been more drastic. And climate change is impacting our very own south pole in ways hard to imagine.
Antarctica is melting at a rapid pace – at a rate faster than expected. A new study has revealed that an East Antarctica ice shelf is home to 55 liquid lakes. This ice shelf was once thought to be completely solid. Researchers drilled through the surface of Roi Baudouin ice shelf and found several lakes enclosed in ice. This melting, which is unusual, could compromise the structural integrity of glaciers in the region, the researchers noted. The solar radiation link has been established by researchers. “We see this link between strong winds and blue ice formation, enhanced absorption of solar radiation, and the melt that is enhanced by this process”, said Jan Lenaerts, a glaciologist with Utrecht University.
Although the melting hasn’t been directly linked to anthropogenic climate change, further warming is likely to increase melting in the region. This melting will further weaken the structure of Antarctic ice shelf and result in large collapses, eventually resulting in dumping of huge deposits of glacial ice into the ocean, driving up sea levels considerably. It has long been debated and argued that the rising sea levels that we are seeing, though very insignificant today, is because of human-induced global warming. But there are other studies which seem to contradict the rising sea level theory. It remains to be seen if melting Antarctica will serve as a conclusive proof of global warming.