Warning from NASA: The Thwaites Glacier might become less icy than usual


The Thwaites Glacier from West Antarctica covers  70,270 square miles (182,000 square km) which is almost the size of Florida. It is also known as the most dangerous glacier in the world because the world oceans can raise more than two feet (65cm) if all its ice melts. In addition to that, other ice sheets that have the potential to increase the levels of the sear, even more, are backstopped by the Thwaites Glacier.

This changes the situation

Nasa researchers have recently found at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier a previously-unknown yawning cavity which is not good news for low-lying counties.

The chamber does not stop growing, right now measuring  1,000ft (300m) tall and being two-thirds the size of Manhattan. The state of the glacier gave Nasa more material for shocking discoveries.

What did the researchers discover?

The researchers were shocked by the speeds at which the cavity is growing while they were searching for some holes between ice and bedrock at the bottom of the glacier.

NASA thinks that the chamber was created in the last three years as 14 billion tons of ice melted away.

A NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) researcher and Operation IceBridge study co-author, Eric Rignot, said that they had been having a thought that Thwaites was not as attached to the bedrock beneath it as it appeared to be. However, they can finally see the truth thanks to a new generation of satellites.

Now researchers need to observe more in detail the undersides of the glaciers from Antarctica so they can estimate how fast global sea levels will rise in relation to the climate change.

How was the chamber discovered?

The NASA study used an ice-penetrating that found the cavity while also connecting the information between the global climate and the polar regions.

In addition to that, they were also helped by some synthetic aperture radars from which a constellation of Italian and German space-borne was formed.


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