Because of its lack of ice, the water’s surface absorbs solar heat quickly in the summer. This has been revealed by an international study conducted by researchers at Cambridge University and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), which analysed the melt rate at the base of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest Antarctic ice shelf. The speed at which the Ross Ice Shelf is melting is a matter of worry for scientists because they attribute this to be “solar heating of the surrounding Antarctica Ocean.”The shelf is a massive block of ice with most of it submerged below sea level. The ice shelf’s location was also found to be a factor in the rapid melting, with it being near a large area of open ocean, known as the Ross Sea Polynya, that is empty of sea ice due to offshore winds. Recent research has found that the ice shelf is disappearing 10 times faster than expected. Dr Williams said the ice shelf is right up against Ross Island which is a pinning point with the island holding the shelf there. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/30/health/ross-ice-shelf-scli-intl/index.html ROSETTA-Ice collected data from the massive Ross Ice Shelf, which helps slow the flow of about 20 percent of Antarctica’s grounded ice into the ocean — equivalent to 38 feet of global sea level rise. At about 500,000 sq km, Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf is equivalent to the area of France. (Inside Science) -- Most of the worry over melting ice in Antarctica has focused on the rapidly melting western shore, where there is enough ice to raise worldwide sea levels by up to 4.3 feet. Ice shelves play a critical role in modulating dynamic loss of ice from the grounded portion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its contribution to sea-level rise. There are areas which have not experienced much loss at all, such as East Ross ice shelf. Most of the melting is concentrated at the ice shelf front at five localized hotspots with melt rates of about half to two meters per year. We identify five sites of elevated basal melt rates, in the range 0.5–2 m a −1, near the ice shelf front. Our results are similar to satellite laser altimetry estimates for the period 2003–2009, suggesting that the Ross Ice Shelf melt rates have been fairly stable for several decades. Das Schelfeis ist mit einer Fläche von rund 525.000 km² (Quelle: AWI ; andere Quellen gehen von 487.800 km² aus) nur geringfügig kleiner als Frankreich und damit das größte Schelfeisgebiet der Antarktis . Parts of massive Ross Ice Shelf melting 10 times faster . “To understand Antarctica and how it works we need to consider the ice, ocean, atmosphere and geology, and how they interact across various distances and timescales,” said Helen Amanda Fricker, a glaciologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and co-author on the study. Antarctica’s ice is already melting at an accelerating rate. Das Ross-Schelfeis ist ein Schelfeis, das die südliche Hälfte des antarktischen Rossmeeres bedeckt. Credit: NASA/Jim Yungel Credit: NASA/Jim Yungel By Katherine Kornei 7 May 2019 The melting is affected by a large ocean expanse in front of the Ross Sea Ice Shelf that is devoid of sea ice due to strong offshore winds. The Ross Sea is a major drainage basin for the Antarctic Ice Sheet and contains the world’s largest ice shelf. The study questions previous hypotheses, such as the belief that the heavy melt began in the 1940s to 1970s, suggesting that more recent anthropogenic actions have caused accelerated melt. The giant cold-cavity Ross, Filchner, and Ronne ice shelves covering two-thirds of the total ice-shelf area account for only 15% of net melting. Scientists have documented one of the most extensive melting events ever recorded in West Antarctica, an area that holds enough land ice to raise sea level by about 11 feet if it fully melted. The highest melt rates occur near ice fronts and deep within sub-ice cavities. Measurements of ice-shelf motion provide insights into processes modifying buttressing. Thermohaline observations in the water column beneath the Ross Ice Shelf and along its terminal face show significant vertical stratification, active horizontal circulation, and net melting at the ice shelf base. Newly acquired swath bathymetry data and sediment cores provide evidence for two episodes of ice-shelf collapse. Section of Ross Ice Shelf melting 10 times faster than the rest - study • Source: 1 NEWS Part of the world's biggest slab of ice is melting 10 times faster than the rest, according to new research. 4 minutes to read . As new ice is added existing ice is being removed through melting at the base and ice calving at the front. Antarctica's ice is already melting at an accelerating rate. These new melt rates are similar to satellite‐derived estimates, indicating that the Ross Ice Shelf has been fairly stable over the past several decades. Abstract. Annual cycle in flow of Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica: Contribution of variable basal melting Emilie KLEIN, Cyrille MOSBEUX, Peter D. BROMIRSKI, Laurie PADMAN, Yehuda BOCK, Scott R. SPRINGER, Helen A. FRICKER Supplementary Material Table S1. The grounded portion of the shelf used to push back against the glaciers, slowing them down. Rapid melting identified by the study happens beneath a thin and structurally important part of the ice shelf, where the ice pushes against Ross Island. This area, known as the Ross Sea Polynya, absorbs solar heat quickly in summer and in turn influences the ice shelf cavity. RECORDS levels of melting are occurring at the world's largest ice shelf due to the warming sea around it. Without this pushback, the glaciers that fed the ice sheet have accelerated and thinned. An international team of scientists conducted an exercise spread out over four years to ascertain how the shelf behaved with the ocean beneath it. Part of the world's largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than expected due to the sea warming around it, research shows. The Ross Ice Shelf is currently stable, meaning snowfall replaces the ice lost by basal melting. To study the influence of basal melting of the Ross Ice Shelf (BMRIS) on the Southern Ocean (ocean southward of 35 ∘ S) in quasi-equilibrium, numerical experiments with and without the BMRIS effect were performed using a global ocean–sea ice–ice shelf coupled model. The Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica is melting faster than previously forecast. An incomplete list of ice shelf–ocean coupled modeling studies. Explore the Ross Ice Shelf with the Continent 7: Antarctica team. That shields much of the grounding line of Ross Ice Shelf from exposure to melt-inducing warm water. The Ross Ice Shelf is being fed a constant flow of ice from glaciers draining from both the East and West Antarctic Ice Sheets. This improved study revealed an acceleration of near 280% over the span of four decades. Ross Ice Shelf, world’s largest body of floating ice, lying at the head of Ross Sea, itself an enormous indentation in the continent of Antarctica.The ice shelf lies between about 155° W and 160° E longitude and about 78° S and 86° S latitude.The current estimate of its area is about 182,000 square miles (472,000 square km), making it roughly the size of the Yukon territory in Canada. Basal melt of 1325 ± 235 gigatons per year (Gt/year) exceeds a calving flux of 1089 ± 139 Gt/year, making ice-shelf melting the largest ablation process in Antarctica. 30 Apr, 2019 3:08pm . Ice-shelf melting of 544 Gt year −1 is derived from physical and geochemical observations of meltwater outflow, glaciological field studies and modeling of the sub-ice ocean circulation. 3034 X. Liu: Modeling the effect of Ross Ice Shelf melting Table 1. Floating ice shelves stabilise the parent ice sheet, and loss of the major ice shelves would lead to accelerating ice flow and sea-level rise of several metres or more. Scientists I met down there who had been making the trip south for 40 years pointed out parts of the Ross ice shelf they witness melting faster and farther every year. After validating modeled circulation and air–sea gas exchange through comparison of modeled temperature, salinity, and chlorofluorocarbons with field data, we estimate that the residence time of water in the Ross Ice Shelf cavity is approximately 2.2 yr and that basal melt rates for the ice shelf average 10 cm yr −1. 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