Glaciers in the Antarctic region are facing dramatic ice loss. According to scientists, Hektoria Glacier has lost 25 kilometers of ice in the last 16 months.
Mathieu Morlighem, a glaciologist at Dartmouth College says this ‘rapid ice loss’ is unprecedented,
The unusually warm sea temperature has caused this loss. This has resulted in the formation of large ocean waves which are continuously hitting the shores. “What we’re seeing here is an indication of what could happen elsewhere in Antarctica”, says Naomi Ochwat, a glaciologist.
After being there for over 10,000 years, Hektoria Glacier, Green Glacier, and Crane Glacier suddenly turned into numerous icebergs after facing the severe summer of 2002. The ice has started to flow faster than ever shedding tons of ice into the sea for the coming decades.
The breaking down of ice somehow slowed down from the year 2011, the thin ice layer formed each year remained there round the year and kept on holding the glacier to the coastline. And, this layer grew to 10 meters thick until January 2022 when the land-fast ice turned into fragments and drifted away.
Scientists argued that a wave of 1.5 meters in height from the northeast had drifted away from the land of ice. And these waves were not normal for this region.
The water temperatures in 2022 in the Southern Ocean increased to tenths of degrees Celsius, which resulted in the shrinking of the pack ice and exposing itself to the high waves. And the waves dragged the ice away from the land fast ocean ice.
The 3 big glaciers lost their floating tongues: Crane Glacier lost 11 kilometers of ice, Green Glacier lost 18 kilometers and Hektoria lost all 15 kilometers of its floating ice.
Previously Alaska Columbia glaciers lost 20 kilometers of ice in 3 decades, in contrast, Hektoria lost its 10 kilometers of non-floating ice in just 5 months — including 2.5 kilometers that faded away in 3 days.