Building walls on the seafloor could prevent glaciers from melting and sea levels rising due to global warming, scientists say.

Barriers of sand and rock positioned at the base of glaciers would stop ice sheets sliding and collapsing, and prevent warm water from eroding the ice from beneath, according to research published this week in the Cryosphere journal, from the European Geosciences Union.

The audacious idea centers on the construction of “extremely simple structures, merely piles of aggregate on the ocean floor, although more advanced structures could certainly be explored in the future,” said the report’s authors, Michael Wolovick, a researcher at the department of geosciences at Princeton University, and John Moore, professor of climate change at the University of Lapland in Finland.
“While reducing emissions remains the short-term priority for minimizing the effects of climate change, in the long run humanity may need to develop contingency plans to deal with an ice sheet collapse,” they added.

Ice sheets play a crucial role in  maintaining sea levels. The amount of ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has accelerated, increasing by 70% in the past decade, according to research published in the journal Science.
While the ice sheet in East Antarctica is gaining in mass because of increased precipitation, it is nowhere near equal to the loss experienced in the West, according to the Climate Institute. How much it will melt in the future is anyone’s guess. Scientific projections for sea level rise by 2100 vary from 30 centimeters (1 foot) to well over 200 centimeters (7 feet).
The Thwaites glacier, likely to be the biggest single source of future sea level rises, according to the report, could raise global sea levels by three meters. The study admitted that much work remains to be done, not least in addressing how such projects would affect marine life.
Culled from CNN World