The forecast study developed by researchers at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom indicates that 34 percent of the area of all Antarctic ice shelves, which measure about half a million square kilometers, could destabilize if global temperatures were to rise by four degrees Celsius.
The research used high-resolution regional climate models to predict the impact of further melting on ice shelf stability.
According to the outcomes, it is recommended limiting the temperature increase to two degrees Celsius, which would halve the area at risk and prevent significant sea level rise.
Permanent floating ice shelves attached to coastal areas prevent land-based glaciers from flowing freely into the ocean and contributing to sea level rise.
Thus, ‘coastal areas around the world would be vulnerable and countries with fewer resources available to mitigate and adapt to sea level rise will see worse aftermaths,’ explained lead study author Ella Gilbert of the University of Reading’s Department of Meteorology.