19 May 2021.
A new study indicates that Antarctica ices sheets are headed towards Climate Tipping Points by 2060.
What do we understand by Climate Tipping in Antarctica?
- There are several ice shelves in Antarctica.
- As these ice shelves break up, the towering ice cliffs may not be able to stand on their own.
- These ice shelves are breaking at a faster rate.
- The ice sheets and shelves of Antarctica are grounded on the bed rocks that slope inwards towards the centre of the continent.
- The warming of ocean waters is melting their lower edges.
- This might destabilize them creating open fractures.
- Open fractures speed up the melting process as more ice areas are exposed to warmer temperatures.
- Thus, it is concluded that Antarctica is moving towards irreversible climate changes, that is, it is moving toward its Climate Tipping Points.
Climate Tipping Point
- Climate Tipping Point is the threshold that leads to large changes in the state of the system.
- The fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defined Climate Tipping Point as the irreversible change in the climate system.
- It is often referred to as runaway Climate Change.
- However, it is not same as that of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect.
What is Runaway Greenhouse Effect?
- It occurs when the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of the planet prevents the planet from cooling.
- It is an extreme Green House Effect.
- It creates irreversible climate state.
- The Runway Greenhouse effect is so extreme that the oceans boil away and renders the planet uninhabitable.
- It is an irreversible climate state.