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Expert reaction to using artificial snow to stabilise the west Antarctic ice sheet

Posted On: 17 Jul 2019   |   Posted By: Science Media Centre

A study, published in Science Advances , reports that deposition of large quantities of artificial snow may reduce the rate of disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Dr Robin Smith, Senior Research Scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, said:
“There have been indications recently that a handful of glaciers in Antarctica have begun to collapse, which could more than double previous predictions of the sea level rise we will see in our children's lifetimes, and lead to the eventual disintegration of a significant part of the ice sheet.
“Sea level rise will be a slow effect of climate change but very hard to reverse, increasing the frequency and severity of flooding of our densely populated coastal cities. Could we stabilise these glaciers by pumping ocean water back onto the ice sheet and letting it freeze again? This is the question Feldmann et al. have asked, testing how much you would have to add, and where, to prevent their collapse.
“Theoretically...

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