Jun 16, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

Antarctica’s Massive Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf Will Melt Drastically Fast, Scientists Warn ‘No Going Back’

May 13, 2017 07:39 PM EDT

Evidences that the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf may be separated from the seafloor was seen through oceanographic recording devices.
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images) Antarctica's Filchner-Ronne ice shelf was seen to already be at risk of a fast meltdown due to rising temperatures.

Aside from Antarctica’s Larsen-C, a more horrifying melting case was reported in the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf. Scientists stated that they have already seen signs wherein the second massive ice shelf will have a phenomenon that will turn its melting process to the point of no turning back.

According to Mail Online, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research used the Bremerhaven Regional Ice-Ocean Simulations ice-ocean model in order to understand the risk of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf if it would happen to melt entirely. The scientists then warned that once its cracking speeds up, there’s no going back.

With that said, the scientists mentioned that the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf total crack would result from an influx of warm water beneath it. The ice shelf will then be in contact with rising temperatures and will be separated completely from the seafloor.

Scientists then cited that signs of the rapid melting of Antarctica’s second largest ice shelf, Filchner-Ronne was already seen. “First of all, less sea ice is forming in the region, and secondly, oceanographic recordings from the continental shelf break confirm that the warm water masses are already moving closer and closer to the ice shelf in pulses,” lead author Dr. Hartmut Hellmer, an oceanographer at the AWI noted.

Moreover, Hellmer explained that “Our simulations show that there will be no turning back once the warm water masses find their way under the ice shelf since their heat will accelerate the melting at its base.” The change in Antarctica’s Filchner-Ronne ice shelf was said to be noticeable by 2070 as Phys.org reported.

Nonetheless, they also concluded that aside from Antarctica’s Filchner-Ronne ice shelf, other masses in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would have their melt speed intensify as well. The progress was already seen by researchers that assessed the Amundsen Sea in western Antarctica. In which the warm water has already reached the continental shelf and the warm water flowing could not be stopped anymore.

The study was then said to be possible by the scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute and the British Antarctic Survey who deployed oceanographic recording devices at seven sites in the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf. The data collected by the devices below the ice shelf were then transferred to the AWI facilities in Bremerhaven via satellite.

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