A massive glacier in Antarctica, seen as crucial to the global sea level rise, could lose its ice shelf in “as little as five years,” a team of scientists has warned.
Because of its potential to increase sea level once it melts, the Thwaites Glacier is often called “The Doomsday Glacier” in Western Antarctica. CBS News reports that the glacier measures approximately 74,000 sq. miles. That’s roughly equal to Florida.
At the American Geophysical Union meeting, a team of US scientists presented this week the findings of new cracks on the Eastern Ice Shelf. This shelf supports about a third of the glacier. This shelf is located in the eastern ice shelf. “acts as a dam to slow the flow of ice off the continent into the ocean,”This appears to be “losing its grip”Researchers claim warm water sawping beneath the glacier. They cite satellite images.
“If this floating ice shelf breaks apart, the Thwaites Glacier will accelerate, and its contribution to sea level rise will increase by as much as 25%,”Scientists wrote that they could break the shelf up. “as little as five years.”
According to this study, Antarctica’s fast-melting glacier is responsible for as high as 4% global sea level rise. Cracks, on the other hand, are expanding into central part of the Ice Shelf at rates of as high as 2km per year.
“There is going to be dramatic change in the front of the glacier, probably in less than a decade. Both published and unpublished studies point in that direction,”Ted Scambos from geology, the US’s lead coordinator of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration told the BBC Tuesday.