Nature

‘Doomsday Glacier’ Raises Concerns for Scientists

Scientists have raised alarm about the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica as the climate crisis worsens. The threat it poses to the world makes it have a nickname, ‘Doomsday Glacier.’ It could result in a catastrophic flooding.

The Thwaites Glacier is in West Antarctica, known to be widest. Size is like the state of Florida.

Research suggests that Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is a major uncertainty for high-risk sea-level projections.

Furthermore, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s website (NASA) said that the Thwaites is vulnerable to a potential collapse and subject to future melting.

Recent research, ” Rapid retreat of Thwaites Glacier in the pre-satellite era, published on September 5, 2022, in Nature Science, shows that the rapid retreat in the glaciers has occurred in the past two centuries.

The research is helping to understand the Antarctic’s contributions to a future sea-level rise as they mapped out the historical retreat of the glacier.

According to CNN, Alastair Graham, the study’s lead author and a marine geophysicist at the University of South Florida, said the disintegration might have occurred recently or in the mid-20th century.

The same report said that the glacier from the seabed retreated per year at 1.3 miles rate (2.1 kilometers), which was considered twice from scientists’ observation in the past decade.

Also Read: Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet Enough to Cause Flooding Across US in 20 Years

What could be alarming is the possibility that the doomsday glacier can retreat rapidly in the future.

In an interview with CNN, Robert Larter, a marine geophysicist and co-authors from the British Antarctic Survey, explained that the Thwaites is holding on today by its fingernails. He added that big changes over small timescales in the future.

Monitoring

Glacier

(Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

CNN reported that the doomsday glacier had been a subject of pressing concerns for decades. Just in 2020, scientists confirmed that warm water was flowing within the base of the glacier with the potential to melt underneath. Researchers studied the high-risk collapse of the glaciers.

With research, they unfolded that destabilizing from below is due to the glacier being on a seabed. Warm oceans may melt the glaciers from down or underneath. As a result, scientists often label the Thwaites Glacier as the “weak underbelly of the West Antarctic ice sheet.”

Also Read: Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet Enough to Cause Flooding Across US in 20 Years

A recent study about the rapid retreat showed that the doomsday glacier could recede faster. CNN reported that in 2001, satellite data revealed that the grounding line receded by around 0.6 miles per year.

NASA added that having reliable instruments, including satellites, are important to generate data on the glaciers melting and how it can impact the sea-level rise on seas and coastlines.

Dooms

(Photo by NICOLAS GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images)

Sea-level viewer

Mashable, a science and technology website, teaches users to view the glaciers from their computers. A Sea Level Rise Viewer is an application to check the Sea Lever Rise with helpful tools in assessing vulnerability and high tide flooding. NOAA created the web application.

Read the comprehensive research here.

Related Article: Pantagonia Glaciers Melting at Alarming Rate, Marking Largest Glacial Changes in History

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