Ice shelves are floating extensions of the permanent ice sheet that covers the continent. They are 400-500 meters (around 1,300-1,600 feet) thick on average and can extend to hundreds of kilometers out to sea. If they thin substantially, more of the land-based ice they support could collapse into the ocean and potentially raise sea levels in years to come.
“The role of the ice shelves is to hold back the grounded ice. If we take it away, there’s nothing constraining the ice discharge into the ocean,” said Fernando Paolo, a geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and lead author of the study, which was published Thursday in the journal Science. - WSJ
Study reveals Antarctic ice shelves have shrunk by as much as 18% in ten years | Daily Mail Online
Antarctic ice shelf melt accelerating, study finds - CSMonitor.comAntarctica's icy edge is disappearing in warming ocean waters, with the last decade seeing the rate of ice loss increase dramatically.This is according to a new study that has combined 18-years worth of ice shelf thinning data from three different sets of satellites.The researchers claim that some ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 per cent of their volume in the last ten years.
A study of 18 years of satellite measurements of ice shelves all around Antarctica has found that, if recent trends continue, thinning ice shelves could unleash dramatic sea level rise in the coming centuries.Antarctica’s floating ice shelves, the doorstop of the continent, are melting away - The Washington Post
Antarctic ice shelves are melting dramatically, study finds | Environment | The Guardian
The ice around the edge of Antarctica is melting faster than previously thought, potentially unlocking metres of sea-level rise in the long-term, researchers have warned.
A team of US scientists looked at 18 years’ worth of satellite data and found the floating ice shelves that skirt the continent are losing 310km3 of ice every year. One shelf lost 18% of its thickness during the period.