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Change in snowfall pattern threaten Antarctica`s ice shelves

Last Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 16:21

b>Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: According to a new report, climate change can may soon change the thick snow cover in Antarctica completely in the next 200 years.

It is a dangerous phenomenon as it is the ice shelves that grip glaciers, and if they melt due to speedy diminution of greenhouse gas emissions, it will lead to increase in the level of the sea.
According to scientists, there may be several reasons responsible for thinning of Antarctic ice-shelf which includes warming air temperature, change in snowfall pattern etc.

Back in 1995 and 2002, two floating ice shelves in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula (Larsen A and B) suddenly collapsed - each event occurred in a matter of weeks.

The team of researchers suspected that the disappearance of the snow layer on top of the ice shelves could be an important precursor for shelf collapse.
Their calculations confirm this hypothesis, and show that many more ice shelves could disappear in the next 200 years.

The scientists believed the snow layer plays an important role in regulating the effect of meltwater lakes on the ice shelves.

The study is published in the Journal of Glaciology.

(With Agency inputs)

First Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 16:21

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