This image pair demonstrates the changes that have occurred since the start of this century. Thwaites sits on a central edge of Antarctica's western sheet, and can be traced far inland. Some communities are going beyond these national and international projections and incorporating potential melting from Antarctica’s ice sheets into their local sea level rise estimates. If Thwaites collapses, much of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could follow it into the ocean. In the near term, these changes will mean more frequent, coastal flooding in low-lying areas, including some of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods. The latest findings from a study into the wider ice shelf the glacier sits on come two years into the five year project. And it's melting very quickly, which is a huge concern to scientists. The first image, acquired with the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on Landsat 7, shows the glacier’s floating ice tongue on December 2, 2001 shortly before it calved Iceberg B-22. They are working to gather data from a range of different experiments and tests to better predict if an when Thwaites it will happen. Peloton's hi-tech bike lets you stream live and on demand rides to your home - and it's one of the best examples of fitness technology out there - at a price. That's worrying news for coastal cities. The concern over the fate of this particular patch of ice dates to the 1970s, when scientists published some of the first papers explaining how the very shape of Thwaites and the continent it connects to makes for precarious melting conditions. Some scientists argue the glacier’s demise is already inevitable. This big blowout confirmed that there's very little actual ice shelf left in the western part of Thwaites Glacier. Scientists think we could see a total collapse of the glacier within the next century, and are scrambling to better understand how to save it. Scientists fear its collapse could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea level rise. But even the city government isn’t sure that level of protection is possible. Scientists think the glacier could undergo even more dramatic changes in the near future. Each scenario includes only a small amount of melting from Antarctica. As the ice shelf thins, it lifts away from the seafloor and loses its ability to act as a brake on the flow of ice from the continent. One World Bank estimate suggests more than 90 million people in just 12 developing countries would be displaced. A run-away collapse of the glacier would lead to a significant increase in sea levels of around 65cm (25 inches) and scientists want to find out how quickly this could happen. A run-away collapse of the glacier would lead to a significant increase in sea levels of around 65cm (25 inches) and scientists want to find out how quickly this could happen. An iceberg in the Southern Ocean, is pictured here as the Nathaniel B. Palmer sailed by during its return trip from Antarctica in March 2019. The Thwaites Glacier is...a glacier. 1 month ago. It could also be on the verge of a rapid collapse. This means that one chunk of ice crumbling could mean the entire glacier gives way. That would be devastating for low-lying coastal communities. The Thwaites glacier covers an area around half the size of the UK Antarctica's ice – what's going on? And that's a concern.”. But what Thwaites and the glaciers around it have in store could be much more significant. “You could get a domino effect of icebergs falling off of the edge of an ice sheet,” said Ali Graham, a marine geophysicist on the ship from the UK’s University of Exeter. The United States’ National Climate Assessment estimates we’ll see 1-4 feet of sea level rise by 2100, citing the complicated dynamics of Greenland’s and Antarctica’s ice sheets as “the primary reason that projections of global sea level rise includes such a wide range of plausible future conditions.”. The ship is the length of a football field and dwarfs a nearby cruise ship. Thwaites Glacier is melting fast, and scientists fear its collapse could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea level rise. In some places Thwaites Glacier has been losing tens of feet, or several meters, of elevation per year. A 'doomsday' Antarctic glacier that could collapse within decades and cause a 10ft (3 metre) rise in sea levels will be studied by an 'unprecedented' joint US-UK mission. Scientists fear an unstoppable flow of ice from the Thwaites Glacier into the sea Credit: SWNS:South West News Service If Thwaites disappears, what happens? Thwaites is already losing twice as much ice a year as it was in the late 1990s. Scientists race against time to find out. WORLD EXCLUSIVE - Prince Andrew's sex slave alibi falls apart: Explosive dossier blows a hole in 'Pizza Express' excuse, and shows he had a manicure booked on day Virginia Roberts claims she slept with him... but investigation questions her story too, Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group, Discover deals on home essentials and electricals, Apply AO.com voucher codes to save on home appliances, Check out the latest B&Q clearance for great offers, Keep yourselves entertained with these electrical offers, Check out the latest Wayfair sale to save on furniture. Scientists think the glacier could undergo even more dramatic changes in the near future. When we think of Antarctic ice, it's tempting to think of huge bergs floating through the sea. Posted by. Boston, of course, is not alone, nor is it the most vulnerable. If Thwaites retreats far enough inland and reaches a certain thickness, physics dictates it will start collapsing under its own weight. AI seems to permeate every part of its software, from the ability to answer calls for you to being able to almost perfectly predict your morning commute. The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica could significantly affect global sea levels. A previous answer “A 2ft rise in sea level is a blip.” said Are you kidding me ? One piece of research is looking at the grounding line - the region - where the glacier rests on the ocean bed and where it floats over water. For Boston, it’s something the city plans to adapt to. This is the last in a series, Into the Thaw: Decoding Thwaites Glacier. A recent study put the price tag of protecting the US from rising seas over the next two decades at more than $400 billion. Credit: Courtesy of Rob Larter/ British Antarctic Survey. Livable Planet. In 2002, a team of … It's eye-wateringly expensive at $2,999, but Naim's Uniti Atom is a revelation, an integrated amplifier than makes it easy to stream music at a quality you've probably never heard before. “Suddenly, it was making sense with what we were seeing out of the windows.”. And how fast it might happen once it starts. Read More. Five dedicated teams of scientists and engineers have been working on Thwaites Glacier for the last two months in below freezing temperatures and extreme winds. Cities and towns around the Humber estuary, such as Hull, Scunthorpe and Grimsby would also experience intense flooding. It is up to 4,000 meters thick and is considered a key in making projections of global sea level rise. A massive one that poses such risk it's been branded the 'Doomsday Glacier". Tagged: The city of Boston is planning for more than 3 feet of sea level rise by 2070, and between 2 and 7 feet by 2100. Thwaites Glacier is melting fast, and scientists fear its collapse could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea level rise. Scientists studying Thwaites Glacier hope to give policymakers a better sense of just how fast sea levels might rise in coming decades, and whether it’s still possible to halt the kind of massive sea level rise it could cause, or just slow its onset. Antarctica's Thwaites glacier has warm water from three directions well under it threatening to destroy the ice sheet and raise global sea levels by up to two feet. The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would cause an increase of global sea level of between one and two metres (three and six feet), with the potential for more than twice that from the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Researchers sent a robotic submersible called Rán - named after the Norse god of the sea - under the ice at Thwaites Glacier and discovered streams of warm water, Researchers are studying Thwaites in detail, with various ongoing studies. Glaciers contribute to sea-level rise when more ice is lost to the ocean that is replaced by snow. What we don't know is how much of an impact that will have on the ice sheet surrounding Thwaites – because it's very difficult to model. 'The conditions were perfect: calm seas, open water,' Anna Wåhlin, an oceanographer with the University of Gothenburg in Sweden told Nature. Eleven feet of sea level rise, which would come from the collapse of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet, is another story entirely. New, not-yet-published research from the same pair revises the estimate for the end of the century downward substantially, but the longer-term picture is still bleak, with a rate of sea level rise that could “be very challenging for coastal planners and engineers to cope with,” DeConto wrote in an email, “likely leading to large-scale retreat from the coast in some places and loss of some low lying islands.”. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. The key to West Antarctica’s future is the Thwaites glacier. Other groups will look at the glacier's flow on land and the ocean circulation - with all of the research feeding into models of the glacier and its future. Scientists think we could see a total collapse of the glacier within the next century, and are scrambling to better understand how to save it. 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. In a major new collaboration, the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the U.S. National Science Foundation plan to deploy more than 100 scientists from dozens of institutions to study the possibility that West Antarctica’s huge Thwaites Glacier could collapse within decades or centuries. A 2014 study looked by the union of concerned scientists looked at 52 sea level indicators in communities across the US. Glaciers are huge sheets of ice moving very slowly, and contain vast amounts of water. The Thwaites Glacier is one of the most dangerous glaciers in the world, and scientists are eager to travel to Antarctica to study it. The red dot shows the approximate location of the Nathaniel B. Palmer research vessel each day. Thwaites Glacier, a sheet of ice about the size of Florida, lies in West Antarctica. Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is 74,000 square miles, the size of Great Britain, and is thought to be particularly susceptible to climate change. The Florida-sized glacier extends deep into the heart of the Antarctica ice sheet. Places such as Annapolis, Maryland and Washington, DC can expect more than 150 tidal floods a year, and several locations in New Jersey could see 80 tidal floods or more. Next year the little robot submarine will create a large map of the area all the way to where the main body of the glacier sits on bedrock. Satellite images of the western portion of the Thwaites ice front on March 2, 2019, and on March 6, 2019, after a large section of what had previously been called “ice shelf” crumbled into a flotilla of icebergs. “When we have better data, better science, then we can make more informed decisions.”. Using radar to study the inside of the shelf they found it was full of channels, ridges and cliffs created by warm currents. 1 month ago. The icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer, chartered by the US National Science Foundation, is shown. The five genes that make you more likely to die from coronavirus or be admitted to intensive care. But it wont I bet it doesn't Probably active volcanoes , … “There's still a debate over what [this collapse] would look like,” Graham said. Top video: Drone footage captures the Nathaniel B. Palmer research vessel surrounded by icebergs and floating sea ice in Antarctica. They will also use a combination of gliders, drilling and other sensors to gather as much data as they can about the seafloor and ocean currents. Scientists fear the collapse of Thwaites Glacier could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea level rise. Glaciers contribute to sea-level rise when more ice is lost to the ocean that is replaced by snow. Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. “Is it over a century, over a thousand years, or can you do in a decade? Scientists are investigating how to slow or stop the glacier melting, but there's no concrete answer just yet. As part of the wider project a number of robotic vehicles have been sent under the ice to gather data including one called Rán - named after the Norse god of the sea, The team were able to use data gathered by the robot to create a detailed map of the sea floor underneath the glacier. Antarctica Thwaites glacier collapse could lead to 2ft sea level riseA team of scientists from Oregon State University made the most of ice free waters in West Antarctica to look under the glacier - which is about the size of Great Britain. Climate Change Environment Like other glaciers, Thwaites has a long, thin tongue of ice that sticks out into seawater. Because its interior connects to the vast portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that lies deeply below sea level, the glacier is considered a gateway to the majority of West Antarctica’s potential sea level contribution. It is a crucial site for glacial melt and warm water is coming from three different directions, a new study has found. Climate. In Boston, much of the current downtown didn’t exist prior to the arrival of European settlers. Researchers have long held concerns that a tipping point in the stability at its foundations could result in a run-away collapse of the glacier. “What we didn’t realize at the time is the ice [front] was coming out to chase us out,” said Rob Larter, a marine geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey and chief scientist on the ship. Read More. The Thwaites Glacier is one of the most dangerous glaciers in the world, and scientists are eager to travel to Antarctica to study it. Livable Planet Areas on the south coast like Portsmouth, as well as Cambridge and Peterborough would also be heavily affected. Boston’s affluent Back Bay neighborhood was previously a tidal bay in the city until a 19th-century land reclamation project made construction of the neighborhood possible. Wåhlin says if they don't have answers on Thwaite's future by the end of the study in three years time 'it would be shameful'. Produced by Ian Coss, Steven Davy, David Evans, Alex Newman, Anna Pratt and Peter Thomson. Posted by. It’s difficult to calculate exact timelines for this glacier collapse, mostly because glaciers have a threshold that when met, the whole thing crumbles. Pacific Island nations like Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives would be wiped off the map if the West Antarctic ice sheet were to collapse entirely. And ice cliff modeling suggests that if that process starts, there might not be anything to stop it. West Antarctica. Scientists have found warm water underneath the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica, which could speed up the melting of the Florida-sized block of ice. Close. Many scientists believe this process is already under way but the speed of collapse remains unknown. NASA said sea levels could rise by 2 additional feet if the glacier collapses, which … NASA “It's another step in the [progressive] retreat,” Larter said. If the entire floating ice shelf at Thwaites fractures into icebergs, what’s left at the edge of the glacier is a giant cliff of ice whose shape makes it particularly vulnerable to runaway collapse. Read all of the reporting from the eight-week expedition. Scientists fear the collapse of Thwaites Glacier could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea level rise. During the next summer thaw, scientists will watch to see if more of the ice shelf inland from the mélange starts to crumble. The likelihood of it collapsing - or when it might happen - won't be known for at least another three years - until the end of the full study, researchers say. The collapse of the glacier, which could begin with decades, could also submerge major cities such as New York and Sydney. If Thwaites were to collapse, it could lead to an increase in sea levels of around 64cm - and the researchers are trying to find out how soon this is likely to happen. Thwaites glacier is larger the England and could drive global sea levels up by two feet (60cm) if it were to totally collapse. Antarctica The Thwaites glacier covers an area around half the size of the UK Antarctica's ice – what's going on? If you were to dive into the water beneath the protruding, … Researchers have long held concerns that a tipping point in the stability at its foundations could result in a run-away collapse of the glacier. Glaciers are huge sheets of ice moving very slowly, and contain vast amounts of water. This research will help scientists determine whether Thwaites Glacier may collapse in the next few decades and affect future global sea-level rise. Scientists think we could see a total collapse of the glacier within the next century, and are scrambling to better understand how to save it. But what Thwaites and the glaciers around it have in store could be much more significant. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects between roughly 1 1/2 to 3 feet of sea level rise under a “business as usual” carbon emissions scenario, or 1 to 2 feet if we start cutting carbon immediately and dramatically. At 11 feet, much of the city would be underwater without massive, new infrastructure projects to protect it. The £39million study involving UK and US scientists was launched after concerns the increasingly unstable glacier may have already started to collapse. The Thwaites Glacier is receding by half a mile per year. As Thwaites glacier nears collapse, scientists worry that ramifications like the disappearance of West Antarctic are a mere decade away. The massive blowout of icebergs won’t itself change sea levels, as the ice that fractured off deep into the ice shelf had already been floating. But the IPCC, too, serves up its estimates with an important caveat, stating that “the collapse of the marine-based sectors of the Antarctic ice sheet, if initiated, could cause [global mean sea level] to rise substantially above the likely range during the 21st century.”. 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. As part of two new studies into the glacier, teams of US and UK scientists scanned Thwaites from above and below. Rather than cram in a plethora of new features, Apple's latest update is about boosting stability, with improvements in everything from FaceID and battery life. The questions swirling around the future of the West Antarctic ice sheet add to the considerable uncertainty policymakers and planners face when trying to prepare for sea level rise. 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