Ice draining from the gigantic Thwaites Glacier into the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica already accounts for about 4% of global sea-level rise, and scientists say it is highly susceptible to climate change. Glacier experts believe this is the one of the key processes driving ice loss at the Thwaites Glacier. Their scientists sailed a ship equipped with an echo-sounder right up to the glacier's ice cliffs, to trace the shape of the seabed below. Despite this stable rate of grounding-line retreat, the melt rate on this side of the glacier is extremely high. Flowing off the west of the Antarctic continent, Thwaites is almost as big as Great Britain. Currently, the study suggests West Antarctica as a whole is losing ice at a rate of about 159 billion metric tons each year—up from 53 billion tons in 1992. Once scientists can demonstrate the expected sea-level rise relating to West Antarctica, he said, they will have more evidence when calling for action to mitigate climate change. Warm water has recently been recorded near the Thwaites Glacier grounding line—the location where the glacial ice rests on the seafloor. In fact, it is one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in Antarctica, melting at roughly twice the rate it did in the mid-1990s. This Antarctic colossus is melting at a rapid rate, dumping billions of tonnes of ice in the ocean every year and pushing up global sea-levels. ... we nudge the grounding line by applying a slowly increasing anomalous melting rate under the floating part of the model domain. Glaciers everywhere might be melting, but only one has earned the most terrifying nickname: the Doomsday Glacier. The area surveyed had been hidden beneath part of the floating ice shelf extending from Thwaites Glacier, which broke off in 2002, and was then often inaccessible due to thick sea-ice cover. A view of the sea ice from the Nathaniel B. Palmer icebreaker on the way to Thwaites Glacier. By Jonathan AmosBBC Science Correspondent. Thwaites is the most worrying glacier in Antarctica because of its size — it is unusually wide, presenting a 75-mile front of ice to the ocean, without any rocks or mountains to hem it in. “The more this marine ice sheet instability occurs, the wider the range of possible future sea level rise becomes,” Robel says. EU and UK negotiators call in leaders in last ditch effort to secure a trade deal. "And because they are so deep, and so wide - this allows a lot more water to get at, and melt, Thwaites' floating front as well as its ice that rests on the seabed," she told BBC News. 1 Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. This tells them about the sorts of speeds ice further back in the glacier can achieve as it slides across rock and sediment. A ROGUE glacier dubbed "the world's most dangerous" risks melting away completely – sparking a catastrophic global sea level rise. Sea level rise linked to warming has already been linked with … "These channels had not been mapped before in this kind of detail, and what we've discovered is that they're actually much bigger than anyone thought - up to 600m deep. .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. The eastern ice shelf of the Thwaites Glacier seems to have been melting away from beneath much faster than anyone realized. The cavities hidden beneath the ice shelf are likely to be the route through which warm ocean water passes underneath the ice shelf up to the grounding line, they said. Thwaites Glacier is melting fast. Thwaites Glacier set to reach ‘tipping point’ that could lead to irreversible melting. Thwaites Glacier is melting fast. "It's amazing to go to a place like Thwaites to see the changes taking place right before your eyes," said Dr Hogan. Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) September 9, 2020. THWAITES GLACIER OFFSHORE RESEARCH. This will allow the glacier’s potential sea-level contribution to be more accurately predicted. © 2020 BBC. They wanted to understand how possible scenarios of future sea level rise might change over time as a result of marine ice sheet instability. British and American scientists have had to temporarily suspend their investigations at Thwaites because of the Covid-19 crisis. Read about our approach to external linking. Listen to Louis Theroux's insightful chat with the star to find out, .css-orcmk8-HeadlineContainer{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}Brexit stalemate: Boris Johnson and Ursula Von Der Leyen seek to break trade deal deadlock.css-1dedj2h-Rank{-webkit-align-self:center;-ms-flex-item-align:center;align-self:center;color:#B80000;margin-left:3.125rem;}1, Faroe Islands: Inside the under-sea tunnel network2, World's biggest iceberg captured by RAF cameras3, Daca: Judge orders Trump to restore undocumented immigrants scheme4, Covid: Russia begins vaccinations in Moscow5, British Airways' memorabilia sale hits snag as demand soars6, Covid: Argentina passes tax on wealthy to pay for virus measures7, Austria: Former finance minister Grasser jailed for corruption8, Trump orders withdrawal of US troops from Somalia9, Leg-lengthening: The people having surgery to be a bit taller10. (A) Map of Antarctica with Thwaites Glacier (red box). The new information refines the volumes for ingressing warm water that can be considered possible under different scenarios. Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica NASA/OIB/Jeremy Harbeck First published on … But projecting future melt rates, and predicting whether Thwaites will trigger a runaway collapse, is nearly impossible without on-the-ground data. Warming, fracturing, melting. Thwaites Glacier and the surrounding coastal region alone could raise sea levels by half a meter (1.6 feet) within 100 years. On January 29, 2019, as part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, over twenty scientists from the United Kingdom, United States, and Sweden embarked on the first ship-based research voyage to the Thwaites Glacier. Will a vaccine give us our old lives back? But satellite monitoring indicates this glacier is melting at an accelerating rate. Thwaites Glacier, also known as the "doomsday glacier", is reported to be melting quicker than previously thought - scientists are now trying to find out why. But to understand how climate change is driving its decline, scientists need to send instruments through 2,000 feet of ice into the water below. Over the past three decades, the rate of ice loss from Thwaites, which is about the size of Great Britain or the US state of Florida, and its neighboring glaciers has increased more than five-fold. Undergraduate students contribute to Thwaites Glacier research January 27, 2020 From the ITGC Seven undergraduate engineering students at the University of Colorado Boulder spent a year working as part of the Thwaites-Amundsen Regional Survey and Network (TARSAN) project team for the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC). Glaciologists have described Thwaites Glacier as the "most important" glacier in the world, the "riskiest" glacier, even the "doomsday" glacier. ‘Teetering at the edge’: Scientists warn of rapid melting of Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday glacier’ Thwaites glacier is losing ice at an accelerating rate, threatening catastrophic sea-level rise Multiple studies show that, overall, Antarctica is losing ice. Antarctica's colossal Thwaites Glacier is melting fast -- and scientists may have discovered why By Emma Reynolds, CNN Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) September 9, 2020 Scientists say the glacier is responsible for about four percent of global sea level rise. The cause of the melting is thought to be the influx of relatively warm bottom-water drawn in from the wider ocean. The Thwaites glacier alone contains enough ice to increase global sea levels by about 50cm. … "I think this is a big step towards helping understand that," he added. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. A simpler solution would be to "tackle climate change.". But satellite monitoring indicates this glacier is melting at an accelerating rate. In the 1990s it was losing just over 10 billion tonnes of ice a year. ... sea level rise has roughly doubled since 1990 — and could worsen if the Thwaites Glacier were to melt. If Thwaites were … The high cliffs at the ice front of Thwaites Glacier, which accounts for about 4% of global sea-level rise. Advances in satellite imagery over the past few decades mean scientists can estimate how much ice Thwaites is losing — nearly 80 gigatons a year, a six-fold increase from 25 years ago. The situation is so bad that it could happen even under present-day ice-melting rates. Nick-named the Doomsday glacier, Thwaites glacier flows off the west of the Antarctic and is dumping billions of tonnes of ice into the ocean, pushing up global sea-levels. The Thwaites Glacier is the largest, most menacing source of rising sea levels all over the world, and it is melting at an alarming rate. Antarctica's colossal Thwaites Glacier is melting fast - and scientists may have discovered why. Since the 1980s, the Thwaites glacier, a part of the West Antarctic ice sheet, has lost an estimated 54 billion tons of ice. And the rate the Thwaites Glacier is melting has accelerated fivefold in the last 30 years. ICYMI: Covid street fight and near cat catastrophe. The Thwaites glacier is larger than England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together. Thwaites glacier has been dubbed the world’s most deadly glacier because of its estimated 2.2 million cubic kilometres of ice, enough to raise seas by 3.3 to 5 metres, depending on the timescale. In the 1990s it was losing just over 10 billion tonnes of ice a year. As a result, much of what scientists know about Thwaites comes from satellites. ... Thwaites: 'Doomsday Glacier' vulnerability seen in new maps. MELT is an ice-based project to understand how warm waters are affecting the Thwaites Glacier at the grounding line – the point where the glacier goes afloat to become ice shelf. The melting of floating ice as it makes contact with the ocean is a key reason why the glacier is coming unglued. They also note that volcanic activity could be increasing the rate of collapse of the Thwaites Glacier, which is adjacent to the Pine Island Glacier. The Thwaites Glacier seen from above. Seawater that is a few degrees above freezing is melting the ice shelf from below. How many trade deals has the UK done so far? Antarctica's colossal Thwaites Glacier is melting fast - and scientists may have discovered why. "When the Eastern Ice Shelf becomes unpinned, the ice will spread out and thin, eventually breaking up, as we can see is happening right now on the (central) glacier tongue," he told BBC News. No-one thinks this will happen in the short-to-medium term, but Thwaites is considered particularly vulnerable in a warming world, and scientists would like to know precisely how fast any changes might occur. On January 29, 2019, as part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, over twenty scientists from the United Kingdom, United States, and Sweden embarked on the first ship-based research voyage to the Thwaites Glacier. ... suggested that the ice shelf is thinning at a rate … In the 1990s it was losing just over 10 billion tonnes of ice a year. What the researchers have produced, if you like, is a kind of "stickiness index" to additionally constrain the computer models. Antarctica's colossal Thwaites Glacier is melting fast -- and scientists may have discovered why By Emma Reynolds, CNN Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) September 9, 2020 The Thwaites Glacier is melting … and it is melting fast. By CNN. "At the end, we will be able to say to governments and policy-makers, this is what's going to happen ... we will actually have a proper, well-constrained estimate of what's going to happen to Thwaites Glacier," said Jordan. These deviations reflected the seafloor's undulations beneath the shelf. Even by the standards of Antarctica, there are few places as remote and hostile as Thwaites Glacier. Currently, Thwaites' ice loss contributes approximately 4% to the annual rise in global sea-levels, with the potential to add 65cm in total should the whole glacier collapse. This in turn will further accelerate thinning of the glacier and grounding line retreat.". Thwaites Glacier is melting at an alarming rate, triggering fears over rising sea levels Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) The team collected data from the glacier and adjoining Dotson and Crosson ice shelves from January to March 2019. This does ★★★★â˜. The glacier has been coming unstuck from a ridge in the bedrock at a steady rate of about 0.4 to 0.5 miles (0.6 to 0.8 kilometers) a year since 1992. Thwaites is the most worrying glacier in Antarctica because of its size — it is unusually wide, presenting a 75-mile front of ice to the ocean, without any rocks or mountains to hem it in. Roughly the size of Florida, Thwaites' melting is currently responsible for about 4 percent of global sea level rise, according to NASA in its recent study on the glacier's giant hole. Think of six football pitches back to back," said Dr Kelly Hogan from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Jordan said that suggestions of geoengineering and blocking the channels is not logistically feasible at such a remote site. And once it starts to retreat, it will just keep retreating.". (CNN)Deep channels discovered under the Antarctic's so-called "Doomsday glacier" may be allowing warm ocean water to melt the underside of ice, according to scientists collecting data from an area crucial to understanding sea-level rise. Such increases threaten flooding in coastal cities around the world, including the East Coast of the United States. The US research ship at the ice front, in a photo captured from a drone. Thwaites Glacier is not stable. VideoICYMI: Covid street fight and near cat catastrophe. The so-called Thwaites 'doomsday glacier' in Western Antarctica is the size of Britain and is known to be melting at an alarming rate. Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier is … Today, it's more like 80 billion tonnes. At the moment, the eastern side of the ice shelf is hooked on to a large ridge, which gives it stability. How are students travelling home for Christmas? The Thwaites Glacier also slows the melting of other glaciers, which could raise sea levels an additional 8 feet if they melted. Thwaites Glacier is melting at an alarming rate, triggering fears over rising sea levels Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) The melt rate of West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier is an important concern, because this glacier alone is currently responsible for about 1 percent of global sea level rise. ... Ice reflects sunlight; and when this ice disappears, global warming increases at a much faster rate. Before now, he said, the ITGC has not been able to precisely quantify sea-level rise in West Antarctica "because there was so much uncertainty about understanding the ice sheet processes and how the glaciers will over time respond.". Over the past three decades, the rate of ice loss from Thwaites and its neighboring glaciers has increased more than five-fold. Thwaites glacier, which is part of the west Antarctic ice sheet, has lost an estimated 540bn tonnes of ice since the 1980s. A pair of new studies released on Monday share a same ominous message -- that our planet's ice is melting at an alarming rate, which is bad news for global sea levels. Officially called the Thwaites Glacier, this mass of ice nestled into the western edge of Antarctica is melting at an alarming rate. They trace the path of a network of deep channels that cut through a ridge before joining up to form a major cavity under the ice shelf. The interaction between warmer seawater and colder sea ice at the grounding line has a major impact. Scientists need real-world data to corral their models so that when they run simulations of possible future behaviour, they get realistic outcomes. If Thwaites were to collapse, it could lead to an increase in sea levels of around 25 inches (64 centimeters) -- and the researchers are trying to find out how soon this is likely to happen. But the current melting trend would suggest this situation won't last much longer, says BAS's Dr Robert Larter. The rate of glacier melt isn’t just impacted by ambient air temperature or solar radiation. Not only is more ice melting than previously detected, it shows the 160km wide Thwaites Glacier is not as firmly fixed to the surface of the Antarctic continent as believed. By CNN. Russia begins Covid vaccinations in Moscow, 'I had surgery to be three inches taller', It's rare to find art that blows you away. The latest research is published in two papers in the journal The Cryosphere, and can be accessed here and here. Earier this month, the ice shelf of Antarctica's Thwaites glacier was found to be melting much faster than previously thought and is now nearly a quarter thinner than it was back in 1970s. It's a majestic sight, with its buoyant front, or "ice shelf", pushing far out to sea and kicking off huge icebergs. The growing cavity sits in West Antarctica at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier, which is about as big as Florida and contains enough ice to contribute more than 2 … That's worrying news for coastal cities. Satellite altimeters measure the height of the ice sheets, which can be used to calculate mass and melt rate. What is next for BAFTA winner Michaela Coel? Sea and airborne surveys show how Antarctica's mighty Thwaites ice stream can be melted from below. It's information that will be used to try to predict the ice stream's future. The hole is startling for its sheer size, but it’s hardly the only one. 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