Antartica heads towards Climate Tippping Point by 2060.

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.

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