Friday, September 30, 2022

Giant glacier in Antarctica is melting rapidly, new threat to humans

Glacier Thwaites d'Antartica

Glatter Thwaites. Photo: NASA/James Yungel

The giant glacier in Antarctica continues to undergo dramatic changes, leading to fears that the collapse of layers will pose a major environmental threat.

Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest glaciers on Earth, and is larger than the state of Florida, United States. However, global warming has caused the ice sheet to melt faster, potentially raising global sea levels by several feet. Due to its wide destructive potential, many scientists have dubbed it a “doomsday” glacier.

Recent research, published in nature geologyhas warned of the risk of accelerated melting of ice along the West Antarctic Coast. Along with his fellow researchers, marine geophysicist Rob Larter found that the Thwaites Glacier has lost the ice sheet over the past 200 years, causing it to shrink twice as fast in the past decade. During this period, the ice sheet is retreating at a rate of more than 2.1 kilometers per year.

Larter’s team mapped the ocean floor in front of the glacier using a robotic vehicle. The results revealed a pattern of “ribs” shaped buried about half a mile beneath the ocean, each carved out of the ice touching the ocean.

“Once a glacier retreats from a ridge on the ocean floor, there will be major changes on small time scales in the future,” Larter said in a statement. Press conference,

“Our mapping results show a very rapid shrinkage process on Thwaites Glacier over the past two centuries, and probably as recently as the mid-20th century,” said Alistair Graham, a marine geophysicist at the University of Florida who led the study. “Small changes in whites can create a big reaction.”

While it is not clear whether glaciers will collapse, and the impact on global oceans, this research provides new evidence of melting glaciers and ice sheets in Antarctica.

The relationship between glacier retreat and human-caused climate change in this region is much more complex than in other regions, such as the Arctic continent which is warming four times faster as a result of human activity. However, the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet could have a major impact on the world. “The loss of ice on Thwaites Glacier, which is the second largest sea ice flux in West Antarctica, creates great uncertainty for future sea level projections,” the researchers said.

“A similar acceleration of melting could occur in the near future, when the lower region no longer stabilizes the higher points on the ocean floor.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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