Scientists at the University of Southampton have analysed the data from oceanographic observations over the past 90 years, and the study has shown that the change in the direction of the winds has affected the direction of currents, which has led to warm waters heading towards the ice shield of East Antarctica.
In their work, scientists studied the Aurora glacier basin, which is located in the Indian ocean sector of East Antarctica, most of which is below sea level and therefore could lead to significant sea-level rise.
Researchers have discovered that, since the beginning of the last century, the ocean has warmed 2–3°C above the continental slope. Researchers believe that this change is caused by the long-term shift of the western winds to the pole over the South Ocean. This change in wind width has led to a shift to the pole of the southern Antarctic circulatory polar current, which means that warmer water is moving closer to Antarctica.
Our observations in front of Vanderford's glacier show that this warm water, also known as circumpolar deep water, replaces colder, denser shelf water, and we don't know exactly how this water Masso exchange is taking place, but the decrease in salinity as the water melts is likely to play an important role.
Researchers believe that temperature changes in Eastern Antarctica and the destruction of the glacier will have a significant impact on sea level; the response of this basin to climate change is one of the greatest uncertainties in the current sea-level rise projections by 2100, adding Arryce Borregero.
To maintain the stability of the Antarctic Ice Shield, it is necessary to limit warming below 1.5 °C. In this case, the average sea level will not rise above 0.5 m by 2100, the authors believe.