What happens when you expose butter to the sun? It melts gradually, right? That’s the closest scenario and similar to what is happening to the Antarctic ice. Of course, the Antarctic ice because of its proximity to the ocean will melt from time to time as a result of the activities of ocean currents, but the problem which needs thinking about currently is the increased speed at which this melting is taking place.
So, how does ocean currents speed melting of the Antarctic ice?
Through the activities of Stronger Currents
Stronger ocean currents constantly splash against and push towards portions of ice below and above the ocean; a situation which results in huge parts of the ice being melted and cavities created in parts of the ice lying beneath or above the waters.
And the presence of these “current-created” cavities mean only one thing; warm seawater from deep within the ocean rising into such cavities to exponentially speed melting of the Antarctic ice.
Activities of Stronger Winds
Recent researches have revealed the presence of stronger circumpolar winds in the Antarctic regions. Such winds will naturally increase the movements and activities of ocean currents to lead to more melting of the ice over a period of time.
These stronger winds are also responsible for the increased melting of the Antarctic ice.
Formation of Cavities in the ice
Cavities in the Antarctic ice are also created when parts of the ice disintegrate or break away to become glaciers as a result of more warm water moving upwards from below. Such glaciers are more prone to the melting activities of ocean currents.
The cavities caused by the warm waters also serve as outlets for high-speed ocean currents that will further melt away the ice available.
Increase in Ocean levels
Ice melted as a result of the activities of ocean currents will naturally add up to the quantity of water available; a situation which is also significant in how ocean currents continually melt the Antarctic ice.
As more portions of ice are melted, sea levels will increase to further boost the activities of ocean currents and the pressure they exert to cause the gradual but speedy melting of the ice.
In conclusion, it’s worth stating that climate change or global warming also, to a significant extent, is responsible for the increased and infamous improvements in the speed at which ocean currents melt the Antarctic ice.