Climate experts say glacial ice in East Antarctica has been stable throughout human history until a heatwave last week.
“An ice shelf the size of New York City has collapsed in East Antarctica, an area long thought to be stable and not hit much by climate change, concerned scientists said.
The collapse, captured by satellite images, marked the first time in human history that the frigid region had an ice shelf collapse.”
Eight years ago, climate experts got trapped by icebergs calving off of ice shelves in East Antarctica.
During last week’s “heatwave” temperatures warmed up to -12C.
“East Antarctica saw unusually high temperatures last week, with Concordia station hitting a record temperature of -11.8C on 18 March
Peter Neff, a glaciologist and assistant research professor at the University of Minnesota, said that to see even a small ice shelf collapse in East Antarctica was a surprise.
“We still treat East Antarctica like this massive, high, dry, cold and immovable ice cube,” he said. “Current understanding largely suggests you can’t get the same rapid rates of ice loss [as in West Antarctica] due to the geometry of the ice and bedrock there.”
“This collapse, especially if tied to the extreme heat brought by the mid-March atmospheric river event, will drive additional research into these processes in the region.”
So according to climate experts, history began after the year 2014 and the melting point of ice is now -12C. Icebergs break off East Antarctica regularly.
““The calving will not directly affect sea level, because the ice shelf was already floating, much like an ice cube in a glass of water,” Dr Galton-Fenzi said.”
In 2009, CNN reported on a giant iceberg approaching Australia.
“The iceberg, measuring 140 square km cleaved off an ice shelf nearly 10 years ago
In November this year a flotilla of icebergs was spotted drifting towards New Zealand’s coast”