Cryospheric Sciences

Marine Ice Sheet Instability

How small changes can make a big difference: tipping points in Antarctica

As Antarctica’s mass loss increases, the threat of crossing tipping points both in the ice sheet and the surrounding Southern Ocean is increasing. But what actually is a tipping point? Have tipping points already been crossed in the past? And what might the future hold? What do we mean by a “tipping point”? Scientifically speaking, a tipping point is generally understood to be a threshold that, on ...[Read More]

How do the ups and downs of the solid Earth influence the future of the West Antarctic ice sheet?

When the Antarctic ice sheet loses mass, the pressure it exerts on the underlying solid Earth decreases. As the ice sheet becomes less heavy, the Earth’s surface is not pressed down as much as before and therefore slowly rises up. In some regions, this rebound process is much faster than previously thought and could stabilise areas of unstable ice retreat. How come? Keep reading to figure it out… ...[Read More]