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. VideoICYMI: Covid street fight and near cat catastrophe. Thwaites Glacier is not stable. 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. "When we were there in 2019, we were able to get right up to the ice shelf cliffs, and the reason we could do that and make our observations was because the icebergs and sea-ice that have always been there historically are starting to disappear.". The melting of floating ice as it makes contact with the ocean is a key reason why the glacier is coming unglued. Over the past three decades, the rate of ice loss from Thwaites and its neighboring glaciers has increased more than five-fold. Multiple studies show that, overall, Antarctica is losing ice. ... Ice reflects sunlight; and when this ice disappears, global warming increases at a much faster rate. 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. Flowing off the west of the Antarctic continent, Thwaites is almost as big as Great Britain. "It's amazing to go to a place like Thwaites to see the changes taking place right before your eyes," said Dr Hogan. 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. Thwaites glacier, which is part of the west Antarctic ice sheet, has lost an estimated 540bn tonnes of ice since the 1980s. Over the past three decades, the rate of ice loss from Thwaites and its neighboring glaciers has increased more than five-fold. A ROGUE glacier dubbed "the world's most dangerous" risks melting away completely – sparking a catastrophic global sea level rise. Will a vaccine give us our old lives back? 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. 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. Images show massive Antarctic change in just 9 days, Greenland's ice sheet melted faster than ever before in 2019, study says. The good and bad news about what Congress grasps about the most threatening glacier on Earth, the melting Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica. But projecting future melt rates, and predicting whether Thwaites will trigger a runaway collapse, is nearly impossible without on-the-ground data. If Thwaites were … "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. Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) September 9, 2020. But recent measurements show that the melting of the glacier is speeding up, … But satellite monitoring indicates this glacier is melting at an accelerating rate. A view of the sea ice from the Nathaniel B. Palmer icebreaker on the way to Thwaites Glacier. The latest research is published in two papers in the journal The Cryosphere, and can be accessed here and here. ‘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 1 Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. At the moment, the eastern side of the ice shelf is hooked on to a large ridge, which gives it stability. 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. 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. This is the last in a series, Into the Thaw: Decoding Thwaites Glacier . Even though this rate of grounding line retreat is steady, the rate of melting is incredibly high. The two datasets taken together now provide the best view yet of Thwaites' underlying topography. 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. THWAITES GLACIER OFFSHORE RESEARCH. EU and UK negotiators call in leaders in last ditch effort to secure a trade deal. A complete collapse of the Thwaites Glacier could significantly affect global sea levels, according to scientists. The Thwaites glacier is larger than England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together. Thwaites Glacier, a sheet of ice about the size of Florida, lies in West Antarctica. In the 1990s it was losing just over 10 billion tonnes of ice a year. 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. 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. Jordan said the next phase was to incorporate the data from the channels, some of them 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep, into simulations of how the ice sheet will respond into the future. 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 high cliffs at the ice front of Thwaites Glacier, which accounts for about 4% of global sea-level rise. "Even before ice shelf break-up, the unpinning and thinning will reduce the buttressing effect of the ice shelf on the glacier upstream of it, resulting in increased ice flow velocity. 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. Glacier experts believe this is the one of the key processes driving ice loss at the Thwaites Glacier. M. S. Waibel. Glacial melting in Antarctica may become irreversible. Melt rates are increasing. Thwaites Glacier set to reach ‘tipping point’ that could lead to irreversible melting. This one Antarctic glacier is the size of the UK and is already responsible for five percent of world sea level rise. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. It's information that will be used to try to predict the ice stream's future. 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. Think of six football pitches back to back," said Dr Kelly Hogan from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). How are students travelling home for Christmas? Glaciologists have described Thwaites Glacier as the "most important" glacier in the world, the "riskiest" glacier, even the "doomsday" glacier. As a result, much of what scientists know about Thwaites comes from satellites. ‘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 "I think this is a big step towards helping understand that," he added. That's worrying news for coastal cities. Sea level rise linked to warming has already been linked with … ICYMI: Covid street fight and near cat catastrophe. Glaciers have been melyting at an ‘accelerated’ rate over the past 12 years (Picture: Getty Images) Previously the highest temperature on the continent was recorded at 15.5C in March 2015. Thwaites Glacier and the surrounding coastal region alone could raise sea levels by half a meter (1.6 feet) within 100 years. Johnson and EU chief seek to break Brexit deadlock, ICYMI: Covid street fight and near cat catastrophe. Jordan said that suggestions of geoengineering and blocking the channels is not logistically feasible at such a remote site. A plane was also flown back and forth across the shelf to measure small variations in the pull of gravity. Even by the standards of Antarctica, there are few places as remote and hostile as Thwaites Glacier. And the rate the Thwaites Glacier is melting has accelerated fivefold in the last 30 years. The Thwaites Glacier is melting … and it is melting fast. This in turn will further accelerate thinning of the glacier and grounding line retreat.". 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