Brief communication: A submarine wall protecting the Amundsen Sea intensifies melting of neighboring ice shelves

Gürses, Özgür; Kolatschek, Vanessa; Wang, Qiang; Rodehacke, Christian Bernd

Disintegration of ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea, in front of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, has the potential to cause sea level rise by inducing an acceleration of ice discharge from upstream grounded ice. Moore et al. (2018) proposed that using a submarine wall to block the penetration of warm water into the subsurface cavities of these ice shelves could reduce this risk. We use a global sea ice–ocean model to show that a wall shielding the Amundsen Sea below 350 m depth successfully suppresses the inflow of warm water and reduces ice shelf melting. However, these warm water masses get redirected towards neighboring ice shelves, which reduces the net effectiveness of the wall. The ice loss is reduced by 10 %, integrated over the entire Antarctic continent.

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Gürses, Özgür / Kolatschek, Vanessa / Wang, Qiang / et al: Brief communication: A submarine wall protecting the Amundsen Sea intensifies melting of neighboring ice shelves. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Özgür Gürses et al.

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