What is the climate change issue with Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf?

Much of the observation of melting of ice shelfs in Antarctica has been so far focused on the western side of the continent around the Amundsen Sea. But recently, the scientists have said that another Antarctic ice shelf is under threat due to Global warming. They have predicted that the 450,000 Km² Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, which is fringing the Weddell Sea on the eastern side of Antarctica, will disappear by the end of the century and will accelerate rising sea levels. This shelf has so far not seen ice loss from global warming and. But now it is calculated that this protective barrier will disintegrate by the end of this century. Melting of the Filchner-Ronne shelf could add up to 4.4mm per year to rising global sea levels.

Ice shelves are like corks in the bottles for the ice streams behind them. They reduce the ice flow. The huge ice shelves that float on the seas fringing Antarctica provide a buffer against warming waters eating away at the base of the much larger glaciers behind them that sit on the land.

According to the latest estimates based on remote sensing data, global sea levels rose 1.5mm a year between 2003 and 2010 due to melting glaciers and ice shelves.

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