These ice sheets have been melting for some time now and it does not require a degree in physics to understand the risk there: as the floating ice melts, the sea level rises. And the sea level rise is obviously a big problem.
The results showed that the glacier was more at risk of becoming unstable than previously thought.
Small changes could lead to a turning point.
"Unstable" here means something very specific. An "instability" in an ice sheet essentially makes it a frozen ticking time bomb. The area of the glacier, beyond which it protrudes over the water, is eaten away, which can cause the ice of the glacier to break off and flow faster into the sea, contributing to a rise in sea level.
More menacing, research finds it difficult, if not impossible, to stop once this instability has been triggered.
"If you trigger this instability, you will not have to push the ice sheet further by raising the temperature, it will go on by itself, and that is the concern," lead author Alexander Robel said in a news release.
In other words, even if climate change were magically reversed, it would not necessarily stop the dangerous and rapid sea-level rise that could be triggered by unstable ice sheets.
Worst Case Scenario
Robel, assistant professor at Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, states that the "worst case" scenario increases by two or three The glacier alone could be the foot of the scenario.
This seems to take a long time because by then we will all be dead. But hopefully, the Earth and its future generations will not be, and climate scientists want to keep it that way.