In a world-first, an undeclared type of ice loss in the Arctic has been measured
Interesting Engineering spoke to one of the researchers, William Kochtitzky, to explore their results further.
A type of ice loss called frontal ablation is not taking into account in most climate models
- A type of ice loss known as frontal ablation, when chunks of ice break off from the edge of a glacier, remains largely "unquantified" in most glacial models.
- Starting with the northern hemisphere, two researchers become the first to map all the glaciers that end in the ocean and estimate their pace of change over the previous 20 years.
- Their results reveal chilling patterns from 2000-2020 and suggest ice loss by frontal ablation is greater than melt in some regions.
Everything in our world, including the air, water, land, and living things, is interconnected by the numerous chemical, physical, and biological processes that make up the Earth system. Therefore any change in one part of the system will have implications for another.
The cryosphere, or all of the frozen water on Earth, is one of the essential parts of that enormous system. As well as sites such as the ice that accumulates on mountain summits, such as the Himalayas, this crucial "sphere" includes the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. As distant and surreal as the masses of brilliant, white ice sheets may seem from photos, any changes to their dynamics will have repercussions across the entire planet.
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