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Scientists have found worrying signs of weakness in the Antarctic ice shelf that holds back Antarctica’s most dangerous glaciers.

Scientists have found evidence that the Thwaites ice shelf could potentially shatter in 3 to 5 years. This comes as a shock as the Antarctic ice shelf has until now been considered a very stable part of the Antarctic.

The new data has shown that the warming ocean is eroding the eastern ice shelf from below, creating cracks that could more than likely spider out and put the shelf in danger of completely shattering. If the shelf shatters, it would spit icebergs into the water, raising the sea levels and putting millions of people in coastal areas at risk of flooding. Without the ice shelf, there would be a domino effect as it could cause ice cliffs to collapse in the Thwaites as well. 

This is a grave concern for many scientists as the ice shelf holds a lot of responsibility and would cause severe and long-term damage if it were to shatter.

The Antarctic has such a delicate balance that just this one change could completely tip over the edge and lead to even more climate change dangers and environmental loss.

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