Scientists have blamed high wind speeds over the Southern Ocean as a causal factor in the rapid melting of east Antarctica’s largest glacier, Totten Glacier, which in turn could affect sea levels.
According to the Australian Antarctic Division: “As the largest glacier in East Antarctica, the Totten Glacier has the potential to be a significant contributor to sea level rise. It drains 538 000 square kilometres of East Antarctica and discharges about 70 billion tonnes of ice each year.”
Computer imaging suggests, according to Dr David Gwyther from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, that warmer waters underneath the ice shelf contribute to the melt.
An ice shelf is a floating part of a glacier. Credit: Australian Antarctic Division via Storyful