It looks like Antarctica just experienced its highest meltdown so far. The unfortunate meltdown hit on Christmas Eve, creating more damage than it was already. The Antarctic ice sheer covers 98% of its continent and is the enormous single mass of ice on Earth.
Besides warm oceans being the most significant threat for the ice sheet, surface melt could be even more concerning as proved on Christmas Eve meltdown.
Researchers from the University of Liège in Belgium show that the percentage of surface melt on the continent increased on the 24th of December. The harsh weather in Antarctica makes the weather station data come through with difficulty.
Melt season starts from mid-November to February, December, and early January being the most affected period of the season. This year the melting peak was above the average of the eight percent, with 16 percent of continent’s icy surface melting down on Christmas Eve only.
Antarctica Experienced A Significant Ice Meltdown Right On Christmas Eve
Picture an ice sheet the size of Denmark. West Antarctica was met with more concerning meltdowns than East Antarctic, which doesn’t look too promising either, according to the University of Liège data.
If the melt continues or is getting worse, it could pose a severe threat to the people leaving on the coast, belives Robin Bell, a geophysics professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
“The ice shelves are– kind of like the cork in the bottle. They’re holding back a lot of the ice in Antarctica,” Bell said. “It means you’re pumping more ice into the ocean, and that’s what matters for sea level.”
Greenland is also confronting with extreme melt season. According to the researchers, this summer’s melt season has an increased percentage of daily ice loss, therefore setting a new record. Greenland was the major contributor to sea-level rise.