Sarah Sloat. Because of its size (1.9 lakh square km), it contains enough water to raise the world sea level by more than half a metre. Wåhlin, an oceanographer at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, was one of the roughly two dozen scientists on a pioneering scientific expedition to Thwaites Glacier this past winter.The two-month cruise aboard the Palmer was the beginning of a five-year, $50 million international collaboration to better understand the plight of Thwaites. Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S 106°45′W) is an unusually broad and fast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land.Its surface speeds exceed 2 km/yr near its grounding line, and its fastest flowing grounded ice is centred between 50 and 100 km east of Mount Murphy. Thwaites Glacier is 120 km wide, fast-moving glacier located in Antarctica. The edge of the Thwaites glacier, shown here in an image taken during Operation Icebridge, a NASA-led study of Antarctic and Greenland glaciers. Thwaites Glacier ice shelf extends about 15 kilometers beyond the grounding line. Thwaites: 'Doomsday Glacier' vulnerability seen in new maps Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. Officially called the Thwaites Glacier, this mass of ice nestled into the western edge of Antarctica is melting at an alarming rate. Along the 150-kilometer ice front, the satellite images show two different types of … Its melting already contributes 4% of global sea level rise and there are fears that it could become unstable and contribute many metres to global sea level. Moreover, this lower section of the glacier is accelerating (light grey contours on the right side map, speed change in meters per year between 2008 and 2016). NASA said sea levels could rise by 2 additional feet if the glacier collapses, which … Warm circumpolar deep water is melting the underside of this floating shelf, leading to an ongoing speedup of Thwaites Glacier. Glaciers everywhere might be melting, but only one has earned the most terrifying nickname: the Doomsday Glacier. The urgency stems from observations and analyses showing that the amount of ice flowing from Thwaites—and contributing to sea level rise—has doubled in the span of three decades. Thwaites Glacier today is rapidly losing mass in response to changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions. Thwaites is both very large and flows very rapidly (color map, right side), with wide areas of the lower glacier moving at over 1 km per year. This is a high-resolution map of Thwaites Glacier's thinning ice shelf. The grounding line is where the glacier transitions from resting on the bedrock to a floating ice shelf in the Amundsen Sea. The first team ever to set foot on Thwaites Glacier, in the late 1950s, included a crusty glaciologist named Charlie Bentley. Thwaites Glacier: NASA Finds a Giant, Dangerous Cavity Under the Ice. Here, warm water is pushed up onto the continental shelf, where it flows along the bottom until it reaches the floating ice shelf in front of Thwaites Glacier. It runs from 2014 to 2018. Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier has been in the spotlight in recent years, as scientists have undertaken a multi-part international project to study the vast glacier from all angles. Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica, is of particular concern to scientists. "Thwaites: 'Doomsday Glacier' Vulnerability Seen In New Maps" "Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. Scientists predict its ice sheet may break off, increasing sea levels. Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in West Antarctica covering a region of the size of Great Britain (see Fig. New seafloor maps reveal the first clear view of a system of channels that may be helping to hasten the demise of West Antarctica’s vulnerable Thwaites Glacier. A look at maps … Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier is thawing more quickly than was previously thought, according to a new analysis of vintage film of the continent from the 1970s. A research team surveyed the seafloor near Thwaites Glacier on the RV Nathaniel B … Thwaites Glacier. Velocity map of the Thwaites Glacier catchment, West Antarctica - Volume 50 Issue 168 - Oliver Lang, Bernhard T. Rabus, Stefan W. Dech Skip to main content Accessibility help We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. Its melting already contributes 4% to global sea-level rise each year. A large area of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet flows to the ocean via Thwaites Glacier, which extends over 192,000 sq kms (74,000 sq miles), an area the size of Florida or the island of Britain. Thwaites glacier in Antarctica might be past the point of no return. The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration is performing some magnificent science, conducting the most ambitious fieldwork ever undertaken at the tip of what is one of the most significant glaciers on Earth. Thwaites glacier is larger the England and could drive global sea levels up by two feet (60cm) if it were to totally collapse. New maps reveal that channels carrying warm water along the Antarctic sea bed are the likely culprits for the gradual collapse of the Thwaites glacier. Thwaites glacier in Antarctica might be past the point of no return. Picture: British Antarctic Survey Thwaites, which flows into Antarctica’s Pine Island Bay, is already losing eight times as much ice a … See the latest updates, context, and perspectives about this story. Can shearing of Thwaites glacier slow or stop if humans control greenhouse gas emissions? Thwaites Glacier), sometimes referred to as the Doomsday Glacier, is an unusually broad and vast Antarctic glacier flowing into the Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land Its surface speeds exceed 2 kilometres per year (1.2 miles per year) near its grounding line. . Thwaites: 'Doomsday Glacier' vulnerability seen in new maps The icebreaker, the Nathaniel B Palmer, mapped more than 2000 sq km of seafloor in front of the glacier Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's. These efforts revealed a rugged series of high ridges and deep troughs on the seafloor, varying between about 250 meters and 1,000 meters deep. In places like this where glaciers meet the sea, they typically resemble tall cliffs, nearly ruler-straight across the top and uniform in height, like the surface of a butcher-block table. No-one thinks this will happen in the short-to-medium term, but Thwaites is considered particularly vulnerable in a warming world, and scientists would like to know precisely how fast any changes might occur. Currently, Thwaites’ ice loss contributes approximately 4% to the annual rise in global sea-levels, with the potential to add 65cm in total should the whole glacier collapse. West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier covers 70,270 square miles (182,000 square km), the approximate size of Florida. Thwaites Glacier is located on the Western border of the Antarctic continent. When the ship finally reached Thwaites at the end of February, it traveled along the roughly 75-mile glacier face to map the previously uncharted seafloor at its edge. Its ice flow has accelerated by about 50-100 m per year since 2009. Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. The channels are deeper and more complex than previously thought, and may be funneling warm ocean water all the way to the underside of the glacier, melting it from below, the researchers found. 2.1.2019 10:10 PM. Thwaites Glacier is melting fast and if it destabilizes, it could trigger close to an 11-foot rise in sea level. 1).. Over the past 30 years, this glacier has undergone dramatic changes. By Peter Sinclair | Nov 20, 2020 Runaway sea-level rise resulting from retreat of Antarctica's Thwaites glacier depends on humans' substantially cutting GHG emissions. Thwaites, about the size of Florida, is currently responsible for about 4 percent of global sea level rise, making it one of the most dangerous glaciers in the world, according to scientists. 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