Antarctica sea-level surge due to fresh water melting from glaciers

Monday, 1 September 2014 - 10:25am IST | Place: Washington | Agency: ANI

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A new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, has revealed that fresh water from melting glaciers is the reason behind rise in the sea-level around the coast of Antarctica.

The study conducted by the University of Southampton explored that the sea-level around the coast of Antarctica rose 2 cm more than the global average of 6 cm.

Craig Rye, lead author of the study, said that freshwater was less dense than salt water and they expected a localised rise in sea levels in regions where an excess of freshwater had accumulated.

Rye said that the interaction between air, sea and ice in these seas was central to the stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and global sea levels, as well as other environmental processes, such as the generation of Antarctic bottom water, which cools and ventilates much of the global ocean abyss.

The study detected that the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and the thinning of floating ice shelves had contributed an excess of around 350 gigatonnes of freshwater to the surrounding ocean and this had led to a reduction in the salinity of the surrounding oceans that had been corroborated by ship-based studies of the water.

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