Scientists found out why the ice in the West Antarctic are melting fast unexplained

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina the Scheme of movement of winds and currents in the AntarcticScientists found out why the ice in the West Antarctic are melting fast unexplained© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

. The ice West of the Antarctic today disappear with incredibly high speed due to the strengthening winds on the opposite side of the ice caps, changed the nature of the movement of currents off the coast of Antarctica, according to an article published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

«We always knew that the warm water somehow penetrates to the shores of Antarctica, but the mechanism of how this occurs remained unknown to us. That of a distant wind on the opposite side of the Antarctic can cause such serious warming from its shores to the West, has become alarming and unpleasant discovery for us,» says Paul Spence (Paul Spence) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney (Australia).

Every year the ice shield of Antarctica is losing up to 2.8 thousand cubic kilometers of ice, and in the last decade, the ice cover is shrinking faster and faster. For a long time it was believed that this is due to the accelerated formation of icebergs, but the American climatologists in June 2013 found that slightly more than half of the volume of the «disappeared» of ice was melted by warm currents that wash the underwater part of the ice sheet of Antarctica through original channels-«the river» at the foot of the glaciers.

These currents, as told by Spence, until recently, did not come to the shores of Antarctica, and the reasons why they changed the nature of the movement, remained a mystery to climatologists. Moreover, to date there is no certainty whether the cause of these changes, global warming associated with greenhouse gas emissions, or some natural fluctuations in the motions of the winds and the waters off the coast of Antarctica.

Spence and his colleagues drew attention to the fact that wind movement in the coastal regions of Antarctica has changed dramatically in recent years, especially in the East of the continent. These changes, as noted by climate scientists, almost was not taken into account when creating climate models that describe the process of melting the southern ice cap, which forced them to create their own computerized version of Antarctica.

As shown by calculations of Australian climate scientists, the strengthening and shift of the winds to the South in the Eastern part of the continent, paradoxically, extremely strong effect on the weather in West Antarctica, raising the temperature of the waters off its coast by 1-2 degrees Celsius.

In some regions of the Antarctic Peninsula where the ice is melting quickly, the annual average temperature has increased by 3-4 degrees Celsius, which radically changed the local climate and forced the ice cap of the continent to decline rapidly.

Similar changes occurred for the reason that the wind has created a special fluctuations, the so-called Kelvin waves in coastal waters, which were distributed along the coast of Antarctica, moving from Eastern regions to the West and changing as the moving currents in the deep layers of water.

Thanks to these waves of warm streams of water, moving at great depths at the bottom of the ocean, unable to get to the coast of Antarctica and melt her ice, increasing the water temperature from zero to positive. The intensity of this process in the future, as suggested by climatologists, will only increase that will further accelerate the melting of the ice of Antarctica and will lead to sea-level rise of a meter by the end of the century.

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