Ice Walls Protect Ocean
Science News reports that ice walls along the outer edge of coastal glaciers help protect inland ice from warm ocean currents.
The report says that “… while Antarctica’s coastal glaciers have experienced accelerating melt rates over the last few decades, the continent’s interior ice remains relatively stable.”
This stability isn’t well understood.
Using data collected by an array of instruments deployed along the coast of the Getz glacier in West Antarctica, scientists at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, were able to gain new insights into the influence of warm ocean currents on the continent’s ice shelves.
The research … showed the walls at the edge of ice shelves are surprisingly effective at protecting inland ice from warm water.
The Getz glacier has a floating section measuring several hundred feet thick. ..The end of this floating section features a vertical edge that plunges roughly 1,000 to 1,300 feet beneath the ocean surface… the new data showed most of the warm ocean currents are blocked by the vertical edge.