Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
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Melting Antarctic glacier could increase global sea levels 8 feet

Melting Antarctic glacier could increase global sea levels 8 feet

They expected to find holes between the ice and the bottom of Thwaites, but the size and the fact that it grows so fast is what actually shocked them.

Antarctica has been constantly losing ice in the last decades as global warming became more pronounced. It's sufficiently enormous to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, and a large portion of that ice melted in the course of the most recent three years.

'Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the detail'. The specialists likewise utilized information from a star grouping of Italian and German spaceborne manufactured opening radars.

"(The size of) a cavity under a glacier plays an important role in melting", said lead author Pietro Milillo of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement.

Thwaites Glacier alone holds enough ice above sea level to raise sea levels by more than 65cm if it was to melt. The water level in the oceans will rise, which will allow offshore glaciers of Antarctica to break away from the ground, turning just in glaciers. The sinking areas are shown in red, while the rising areas are in blue.

The cavity is 300m tall and is growing fast. The mottled area (bottom left) is the site of extensive calving.

Thwaites Glacier is about the size of Florida and now responsible for roughly 4 percent of global sea rise. The entire Thwaites glacier is as big as Florida, and now 4 percent of the sea level rise.

If it were to disappear entirely, the ice held in the glacier could lift the ocean by an estimated 65 centimetres (about 2 ft). Thwaites also serves as a backstop to other Antarctic glaciers-if they subsequently collapsed, sea levels could rise by another eight feet.


The Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is one of the most hard places to reach on Earth.

The gaping mouth is located at the base of the Thwaites Glaciers, which is considered by many to be one of the most risky in the world due to its massive size.

For Thwaites, "We are discovering different mechanisms of retreat", Millilo said. This information is extremely useful to scientists because how quickly a glacier melts depends a great deal on what's going on near that bedrock.

In record speed grows under a glacier in the Antarctic, a huge cavity.

However, there's been more retreat than advancement as of late. The glacier has been coming unstuck from a ridge in the bedrock at a steady rate of about 0.6 to 0.8 km a year since 1992.

The Thwaites glacier is slightly smaller than the total size of the United Kingdom, approximately the same size as the state of Washington, and is located in the Amundsen Sea. In the case of the recently discovered cavity, it was found on the western side under the main trunk of the glacier.

These results highlighted that ice-ocean interactions were more complex than previously understood.

Nasa has made a series of shocking discoveries about the state of the glacier.

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