In an analysis ocean temperature data spanning several decades, oceanographer Dr. Doug Martinson of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, USA discovered that the vast ice cap of Antarctica is actually melting from below due to heat that is now rising from deep ocean waters.
According to Dr. Martinson, these water temperatures have risen most steeply since 1960, with corresponding increases in the undermining of sea ice, along with warmer air temperatures, retreat of 87% of alpine glaciers, and extinction of entire Adelie penguin colonies.
To Dr. Martinson's surprise, however, further analysis revealed that this temperature rise is occurring not just in Antarctica, but in ocean waters worldwide. Dr. Martinson stated, “When I saw that, my jaw just dropped.” The other implication of this data is that even if emissions are reduced, the waters will continue releasing heat for some years to come.
As Dr. Martinson observed, “There's the potential that we're locked into long-term sea level rise for a long time.” The information also sheds new light on other regions such as Antarctica's Pine Island Ice Shelf, which previously was thought to be disintegrating due to summer melt water. Now that the cause is known to be the up welling of deep sea water, factors such as wind could influence how quickly this and other ice shelves may disappear.
We appreciate your research, Dr. Martinson and colleagues at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, showing how human-caused global warming is disturbing the fragile balance of the Antarctic and other sea locations worldwide. May our prompt actions and effective solutions help restore the balance to protect all life on Earth.
During a November 2009 videoconference in Washington, DC, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the possible larger-than-expected ice melts in Antarctica and elsewhere, while highlighting the need for action at the root level.