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What happens to the Doomsday Glacier would generate terrible changes on planet Earth

What happens to the Doomsday Glacier would generate terrible changes on planet Earth

A publication Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that when warm, relatively salty ocean water encounters ice, This causes “strong melting” under the glacier.

This can be underestimated Global sea level rise forecasts Than previously expected, a major geological formation It is the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica.

Glaciers are once again sending a warning signal about climate change.

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What is the “Doomsday Glacier” and why would its melting be an unprecedented disaster?

This mass of ice is called the “Doomsday Glacier” because… Its collapse leads to a catastrophic rise in sea levels, Since its formation it is the widest glacier in the world and has About the size of Florida.

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also It is the most vulnerable and unstable glacier in Antarctica. Largely because the land on which it sits slopes downward, allowing it to do so Ocean water eats up its ice.

This glacier already contributes 4% of global sea level rise, But it contains enough water in solid form to raise ocean waters more than two feet. Although it works too A natural dam of ocean ice In West Antarctica.

The so-called “glacier at the end of the world” has been studied on many occasions.

Scientists estimated that its complete collapse could eventually lead to… Sea level rises by about 10 feet, A disaster of enormous proportions for the world’s coastal communities.

Many studies have indicated Thwaites’ massive weaknesses. Global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels, He left her hanging “on the edge of the ledge.” According to a 2022 study.

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Icy Doomsday: What’s the new factor setting off the alarm signal?

A team of glaciologists, led by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, Using high-resolution radar data via satellite, They were collected between March and June last year, to create X-ray of the glacier.

This allowed them Building a picture of changes in the “ground line” Thwaites, the point at which the glacier rises from the sea floor and Transforms into a floating ice shelf.

These natural structures are essential for the stability of ice sheets


Grounding linesThey are vital to the stability of ice sheets A major weakness for Thwaites, but it was It’s hard to study.

eric Renew, Earth system science teacher At UC Irvine, he commented on Fox News about his concern about this.

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“in the past, We only had sparse data “Let’s look at this,” said Regno, co-author of the study. “In this new data set, Which is daily and covers several months, “We have strong observations of what’s going on.”

Notice that Seawater was forced under the glacier For several kilometers and then out again, following the daily rhythm of the tides. When water flows in, It is enough to “raise” the surface of the glacier “A few centimetres,” Renault said.

The speed of sea water which sE moves large distances in a short period of timeThe melting of ice increases because once the ice melts, Fresh water is washed and replaced with sea water Renaut said warmer.

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More studies still need to be done to determine how quickly the glacier will melt due to climate change.

Basically, what results is this block of ice They melt beneath the surface, “hollowing” it out.This is due to differences in temperature and salinity.

“This discovery provides a process that, so far, It is not taken into account in the models“He told CNN. Although these results only apply to certain areas of the glacier, he said, “This It can accelerate the rate of ice loss In our expectations.

Noel Gormelin, Professor of Earth Observation at the University of Edinburgh, He commented that there are still many unknowns On what the study results mean for Thwaites’ future, he also wrote It is also unclear how widespread this process is in Antarctica.