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Credit: The Guardian - Timelapse shows Antarctic ice shelf collapse after battering from waves / 14 Jun 2018
crisis interventions

Averting The Collapse Of The World's Largest Ice Sheets To Prevent Sea Level Rise - Saving Antarctic Ice

What are Interventions?These are brief undertakings where Kyrios endeavours to avert or lessen the severity of a natural disaster in a bid to reduce loss of lives, destruction, and impacts of climate change.

Kyrios’ Biggest Challenge To Date

Outcome

Intervention is underway since November 2021 and will last till November 2022 ...

Crisis Situation

  • A large iceberg about 20 times the size of Manhattan broke off the Brunt Ice Shelf
  • Larsen B embayment breaks up over the span of a few days
  • Irreversible decline of West Antarctic glaciers that may cause sea levels to rise 3 metres

Timeline of Events

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Note: Intervention in progress, will continue till November 2022


In August 2021, Kyrios began to intervene in the Arctic region’s rapidly declining ice. Forecasts show that anthropogenic effects of climate change in this region would lead to the Arctic Ocean becoming ice-free in summer by 2035. Recently, climate scientists reported that the Arctic region is warming four times faster than the rest of the world, not twice as previously thought. It’s no wonder then that for the first time on record, rain instead of snow, was observed at the highest point on Greenland Ice Sheet for several hours in August 2021. This incident alarmed Kyrios, and spurred action by Kyrios to restore ice in the Arctic, and now in the Antarctic. There was no time to lose, or the world would experience sudden sea level rises and more extreme climate weather.

While the Antarctic region has not experienced such drastic changes as compared to the Arctic, it is not immune to the effects of global warming. Kyrios’ decision to intervene now is to take action before irreversible loss of ice takes place. Indeed, there have already been alarm bells being sounded on recent reports of changes in Antarctica. In January 2022, a large expanse of sea ice broke away in a span of a few days in the Larsen B embayment, after having persisted since 2011 – but this was only one of a series over the past 20 years in this area. In the Brunt Ice Shelf, a giant iceberg more than twenty times the size of Manhattan broke away in February 2021. This happened just after three months when a major crack formed in November 2020. However, this would not be the last, as more chasms, cracks and rifts have been observed in this same location. These events show that sudden, dramatic changes can take place and that our knowledge of these regions and of our climate models are still inadequate in predicting or understanding the impact of these events.

Recently, climate scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom have come together to investigate the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. It is one of the most unstable glaciers in Antarctica, currently losing a net of 50 billion tons of ice a year and contributing to 4% of all global sea level rise. The state of the glacier is also rapidly deteriorating, as its grounding line, where the ice transitions from grounded ice sheet to freely floating ice shelf, has continued to retreat rapidly. Back in 2014, a NASA-UCI study noted that the loss of West Antarctic Glaciers appear unstoppable due to an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. When this happens, sea levels will rise by 3 metres (10 feet). This led Jeff Goodell in his 2017 report on Thwaites Glacier, to dub it “The Doomsday Glacier”.

Thwaites Glacier, and the adjacent glaciers in West Antarctica, rightly deserve the world’s attention. Kyrios, from an earlier survey of the Antarctic, explained that ice in the Antarctic is melting due to rising surface temperatures as well as warming waters. Kyrios added that warming waters were not just from rising ocean temperatures, but also due to heat from within Earth as a result of global warming and forest fires. These were corroborated by researchers. Glaciologists have discovered that circumpolar deep water is flowing through deep troughs beneath the ice sheet and bringing warm water all the way to the grounding line of the Thwaites Glacier. Another group of German and British researchers in a published study have shown the presence of large amounts of heat from Earth’s interior beneath the ice, and warned that this geothermal heat from beneath Antarctica can lead to the bottom of the glacier bed no longer freezing completely. Unfortunately, this means that intervening to avert this disaster would be more difficult than the Arctic intervention, where ice is melting primarily due to rising surface temperatures.

This would therefore be Kyrios’ most challenging and longest intervention to date, lasting a full year from November 2021 to 2022.

TIMELINE

20 November 2021

⭐️ While replenishing ice across the Arctic Circle, Kyrios has also commenced restoring the Antarctic ice!

Kyrios announces that efforts to restore ice in the Antarctic has begun and will continue till November 2022, as an expansion of Kyrios' ongoing endeavour to save our Earth's polar ice and curb rising sea levels.

This follows Kyrios’ intervention on 23 August 2021 to stem rapid ice melt and increase ice volume across the Arctic Circle, which will be carried out till March 2022.

15 January 2022

⭐️ Kyrios' restoration of Antarctic ice enters the next phase

When Kyrios announced that the mending of the Antarctic glaciers had commenced, Kyrios explained that the immediate focus then was to prevent the temperature of Antarctica's summer and surrounding waters from rising too quickly and to reduce ice melt.

Today, Kyrios will start to transform the Antarctic climate to stabilise its glaciers and increase ice volumes. This will be a challenging endeavour as ice is rapidly melting from beneath due to warming waters. As Kyrios progressively reduces temperatures across Antarctica to facilitate ice-restoration, Earth's Southern Hemisphere will gradually become colder. Some places in the southeastern countries may even experience unusual snow or hail.

24 January 2022, Mon

Hail in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur were shocked when hailstones rained down during a thunderstorm. This phenomenon was forecasted by Kyrios in the previous update on 15 January 2022 as part of actions taken to transform the Antarctic climate.

27 February 2022, Sun

Thwaites Ice Tongue Break Up

Kyrios is being informed that the Thwaites Ice Tongue had broken up between 21 January 2022 and 19 February 2022.

Figure: Satellite images from NASA of the Thwaites Glacier. Slide left to compare the state of the Thwaites Ice Tongue on and after the break up.

⭐️ Kyrios Takes Action

Kyrios renewed efforts to stabilise the conditions in the Antarctic upon hearing this news. We hope that climate scientists who are monitoring changes in Antarctica's weather and surrounding waters can help to provide updates and advisories on the prevailing situation in the Antarctic.

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