Thwaites Glacier. Credit: NASA/OIB/Jeremy Harbeck
Huge Cavity Melted Out in Antarctic Glacier: Part 1 of 2 // Feb 4, 2019
A huge cavity–4 km wide by 10 km long by 300 meters high–has melted at the glacier base in only 3-5 years. Total melt of west Antarctic glaciers:
- Would raise global sea levels about 5 meters;
- Greenland glacier melt would add 7 meters;
- East Antarctic plus mountain glacier melt would add 60 meters (total about 72 meters = 238 feet).
I discuss how melt rates of Antarctica glaciers are rapidly increasing due to warm salty ocean water incursions under the ice; in fact under Thwaites Glacier in west Antarctica an enormous hole— 4 km w x 10 km L x 300 meter H–has appeared in only a few years.
Ref: Huge cavity in Antarctic glacier signals rapid decay: ‘A gigantic cavity – two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall – growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is one of several disturbing discoveries reported in a new NASA-led study of the disintegrating glacier. The findings highlight the need for detailed observations of Antarctic glaciers’ undersides in calculating how fast global sea levels will rise in response to climate change.
Researchers expected to find some gaps between ice and bedrock at Thwaites’ bottom where ocean water could flow in and melt the glacier from below. The size and explosive growth rate of the newfound hole, however, surprised them. It’s big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, and most of that ice melted over the last three years’.
Huge Cavity Melted Out in Antarctic Glacier: Part 2 of 2 // Feb 4, 2019
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