Ice sheet research: 'bigger tides in North Wales'

Credit: NASA/UPI/PA Images

Joint research by scientists at Bangor University claims the effects of melting ice sheets will go far beyond just changing water levels. It could have further reaching impacts on global climate.

They say along some coastlines the tidal range will be greatly increased, for example the North Wales coastline, whilst along others, like South Wales, the tidal range will be reduced. Moreover many functions of the ocean will be altered by the changes in the tides.

Tides currently play a key role in sustaining the large-scale ocean currents which redistribute heat from the tropics to higher latitudes and are responsible for the mild climate in the UK. Predictions provided by the new model show that the collapse of the ice sheets will significantly impact the global tides which could in turn impact ocean current systems which are important for our climate.

The global changes in the tides will also have profound impacts on a wide range of other ocean functions, such as changes to the regions of the ocean which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and on the ecosystems of the temperate (shallow) shelf seas surrounding the continents.

– Dr Sophie-Berenice Wilmes, Bangor University