Partly this is because one of Britain’s glacial-shaped thwaites in western Antarctica is melting at an alarming rate: it is retreating about half a mile (2,625 feet) per year. Scientists estimate that the glacier will lose all its ice in about 200 to 600 years. When this occurs, it will raise sea level by about 1.6–2 ft (0.5 m).
But the rise in sea level will not stop there. The Thwaites surname mostly stems from what will happen after the melting.
Right now, glacier warming acts as a buffer between the sea and other glaciers. With its collapse, neighbors in western Antarctica can bring snow masses with them. Added, the process would raise sea levels by about 10 feet, permanently submerging New York City, Miami and many coastal areas in the Netherlands.
This is a big change, David Holland, a professor of atmospheric science at New York University, told PBS NewsHour in February, a rewrite of the beach, which told PBS NewsHour in February.
To this moth, two new studies have added an extension of the worrying picture. Research published last week in the journal Cryosphere It was found that the warm ocean currents in the underbelly of the Thwaites glacier could flow.
Meanwhile, a study, published on Monday, uses satellite imagery to show that the Thieves and its neighbors, sections of the Pine Island Glacier, are breaking up faster than previously thought. Was published in that work Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
The images below describe what could happen in the future, as well as what is happening in the Thwaites and surrounding glaciers.
The melting of the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers already accounts for about 5 percent of global sea-level rise.
up: Satellite imagery between October 2014 and May 2019 causes extensive damage to the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers.
It’s not just Thwaites: Antarctic ice sheets are melting six times faster than in the 1980s. It is shedding 252 billion tons annually, up from 40 billion tons per year 40 years ago.
If the entire Antarctic ice sheet melted, scientists estimate that sea level would rise 200 feet (60 m).
Images taken from space before and after show the Thwaites glacier dissolving into the sea.
“The satellites are showing us that this is a glacier coming apart from the oceans,” Ted Scambos, a senior scientist at the University of Colorado, reported in February.
This is occurring due to rapid melting because, according to new research, the natural buffers that hold the thieves and pine glaciers are breaking.
up: Cravas near the grounding line of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica.
Cravus such as those above Pine Island Glacier near the shear margin of the glacier: areas where fast-growing glacier ice meets the gradual ice or rock that contained it.
new PNAS The study found that the severed margins on Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier are weakening and diverging, which can cause sea ice to flow.
The growing loss of the Thwaites glacier is so worrying that the United States and Britain set up an international agency to study it.
That organization, the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, studies glaciers through iceberg vessels that can break through thick ice sheets.
In February, researchers discovered a cavity approximately the size of Manhattan under Thwaites.
up: A cavity about 1,000 feet long is rising at the bottom of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica.
The cavity, which NASA scientists found using ice-penetrating radar in 2019, could hold 14 billion tons of ice.
The diagram below shows how the hot underwater currents run under the glacier, slowly melting it from bottom to top.
up: A 3D diagram of the Thwaites glacier, which shows the seabed channels that can carry warm water to the bottom of the glacier and cause melting.
When ice sheets melt from below, they can lose their structure, causing them to melt even more quickly and shatter into the ocean, as Thwaites is doing.
Researchers calculate that Pine Island Glacier has lost an area the size of Los Angeles in the past six years.
“These are the first signs we see that the Pine Island ice shelf is disappearing,” Steph Lermit, a satellite expert and lead author PNAS Study, told Washington Post.
“This damage is difficult to recover.”
According to the 2018 report, by 2050, sea level rise could affect 800 million people.
up: A projection of what will happen with an increase in sea level of 10 feet of New York City sea level.
The C40 Cities Climate Network report found that rising sea levels could threaten the power supply to 470 million people and regularly expose 1.6 billion people to extremely high temperatures.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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