The unstoppable glaciers of Antarctica
In the last few decades, glaciers in western Antarctica have been flowing out to the ocean at a faster rate. Researchers from NASA and UC Irvine have been observing the glaciers in this area with 40 years of satellite data and have concluded that they’re melting at an unstoppable rate.
The issue lies in the fact that as a glacier moves faster to the ocean it thins out. This makes it lighter and able to float easier on water. So a larger area of the glacier is touching the warming currents of the ocean. This becomes a multiplying effect: more of the glacier melts at a faster rate.
The dangers of this is that these glaciers contribute to a large percentage of sea level rise and in just two hundred years could raise the sea level by four feet.