Scientists and authorities are concerned about recent reports of a dangerous fissure and thinning of the Doomsday or Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica.
Thwaites contains a colossal amount of ice, enough gradually raise the sea level by more than two feet, although its collapse in warm climates could release many more feet of neighboring glaciers.
The Antarctic glacier has destabilized, retreating nearly nine miles since the 1990s. If much of it gradually melts over the coming decades and centuries, large swaths of coastal cities and towns around the world could be flooded and easily destroyed by storms.
The latest 2023 study, straight from the source in West Antarctica, also shows how the glacier is melting. The critical point is under the ice shelf of the Doomsday Glacier, which is the end that extends over the ocean. It is important to note that ice shelves connect to the ocean floor, acting like a “cork in a bottle”, preventing the rest of the colossal glaciers from flowing unhindered into the sea. So if the ice shelf eventually disappears, so will the glacier.
A recent study that was published in a scientific journal Nature, shows two main findings:
- The glacier continues to melt underwater, but in the flat areas that make up most of this ice shelf, this thinning is slower (about six to 16 feet or two to five meters per year) than usual. expected.
- Still Thwaites is melting faster than expected in fissures below a critical floating ice shelf. Scientists suspect that the relatively warmer water seeps into natural cracks and crevices, amplifying melting in those weaker spots.
“Our results came as a surprise, but the glacier is still in trouble,” said Peter Davies, an oceanographer with the British Antarctic Survey who took some of the recent measurements at Thwaites. said in a statement. “If the ice shelf and the glacier are in balance, the ice leaving the continent will match the amount of ice lost through the melting and calving of icebergs. We found that despite a small amount of melt, the glaciers are still rapidly retreating, so it doesn’t seem like it takes long for a glacier to get out of balance.”
On a recent excursion to West Antarctica, researchers set up camp on the remote Thwaites Ice Shelf and dropped the Icefin robot into the water below. Rare images, shown in the British Antarctic Survey video below, show what is happening with thinning ice. Melting in the crevasses left “ladder” formations at the bottom of the Doomsday Glacier.
Source: Digital Trends
I am Garth Carter and I work at Gadget Onus. I have specialized in writing for the Hot News section, focusing on topics that are trending and highly relevant to readers. My passion is to present news stories accurately, in an engaging manner that captures the attention of my audience.