Ice berg off Antarctica

How the ocean melts Antarctic ice

  • Ariaan Purich


  • Vigan Mensah

    We thank Vigan Mensah, a Polar Oceanographer at the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Japan, for his outstanding contribution to peer review at Communications Earth & Environment. Vigan Mensah works on ocean dynamics and circulation in regions with sea ice.

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  • The floating ice shelves around Antarctica are key to buttressing land-based ice. Observations, simulations and analyses from around Antarctica now identify mechanisms that lead to basal melting of these vulnerable shelves.

    • Ariaan Purich
    Comment Open Access
  • A recent study dating Viking presence in America to a precise year was only possible thanks to long-term conservation of archaeological finds. It also arose from curiosity, interdisciplinarity and recognition of emerging techniques. These factors highlight the importance of archiving materials and asking the right questions in research on the entanglements of climate and history.

    • Ulf Büntgen
    • Jan Esper
    • Clive Oppenheimer
    Comment Open Access
  • When an earthquake in southern France caused the ground to rupture—a phenomenon not known during the last 25 years in the region—the earthquake science community worked together to determine the implications for hazard assessment. Now we must maintain that spirit of co-operation for the future.

    • Stéphane Baize
    • Jean-François Ritz
    Comment Open Access
  • In 2021, 1348 reviewers wrote a peer review report for Communications Earth & Environment. We would like to express our thanks to all of them.

    Editorial Open Access
  • Authors from non-English speaking countries can feel disadvantaged if they are not fluent in English. At Communications Earth & Environment, we disregard language imperfections in our decisions, and ask our reviewers to do the same—as long as the science is clear.

    Editorial Open Access
Image of iceberg in Antarctica

Influences on Antarctic Ice

The floating ice shelves around Antarctica are vulnerable to warming of the atmosphere as well as the ocean. Because they already float on the ocean, sea level is not directly affected if they are lost. Nevertheless, sea level can rise when they no longer hold back land-based ice on its journey to the ocean, and the ocean circulation is altered when large amounts of hitherto frozen freshwater melt. In this Collection we present articles that explore the mechanisms that determine where and when the Antarctic ice shelves may disintegrate.
  • Communications Earth & Environment