Ice-shelf melting seen to accelerate in West Antarctica

New research out of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine has found evidence that several Antarctic ice shelves, which are extremely sensitive to temperature changes in the water, are being melted from below by ocean waters heated by global warming.

The study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, concluded that the cause of much of lost ice from the Smith, Pope, and Kohler glaciers, which flow into the Dotson and Crosson ice shelves, came from below.

While the glaciers sit on bedrock, a portion overflows into the sea, forming a floating ice shelf. The point of where the glacier begins to float is called the grounding line, and changing grounding lines, a result of ice melt, are thought to be strongly linked to the overall mass loss from the continent. READ MORE.