The removal of underwater sediments due to melting in Antarctica due to global warming could generate huge and deadly tsunamis, a new study suggests.
Climate scientists came to this conclusion after examining the sediments under the Antarctic sea, since two periods of global warming 3 million and 15 million years ago, the layers of sediment gave way and caused huge waves.
“Submarine landslides are a significant geological hazard with the potential to trigger tsunamis that can cause great loss of life,” said Jenny Gales, an expert in ocean exploration and hydrography at the University of Plymouth. “Our findings highlight how we urgently need to improve our understanding of how global climate change could influence the stability of these regions and the potential for future tsunamis.”
Although they do not mention it directly in the study published in Nature Communications, they indicate that these tsunamis are headed towards the borders of South America, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
According to Live Science, although the magnitudes of tsunamis that occurred millions of years ago are not known, scientists have relied on relatively recent disasters released by submarine landslides, such as those feared here, in which 28 people died in Canada, and one in 1998 in Papua New Guinea Guinea, which claimed 2,200 lives.
Therefore, they fear that history could repeat itself: “The same layers are still present on the outer continental shelf, so it is “prepared” for more of these landslides to occur, but the big question is whether the trigger for the events will still occur. The matter is being discussed”, director of Antarctic Research at the Victoria University of Wellington explained, stating that he could still be wrong about those tsunamis.
“We propose isostatic rebound as a logical potential trigger, but random faults or climate-induced changes in ocean currents are eroding key areas on the continental shelf that could trigger a faulted slope. This is what we could evaluate in future studies using computational models,” he said.
The aforementioned “isostatic shock” is a process in which the tectonic plates are moving upwards seeing a reduction in pressure due to the reduction in weight imposed by the ice sheet, released by rising temperatures, a process that has been observed more and more. in years