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Tags: climate change | global warming | antarctica | glacier

Study: 'Doomsday Glacier' Melting Rapidly

By    |   Tuesday, 21 May 2024 03:04 PM EDT

A major West Antarctica glacier is experiencing greater exposure to warm undersea currents than previously believed, according to a study published Monday.

The Thwaites Glacier, about the same size as Florida, is known as the "Doomsday Glacier" due to catastrophic predictions of sea level rise the ice sheet melted. The study documents new evidence of "vigorous melting" due to "seawater intrusions occurring at tidal frequencies over many kilometers beneath the grounded ice of Thwaites Glacier."

The melt could reset estimates of global sea level rise if the glacier retreats at a predicted two miles annually. Thwaites also acts as a natural dam to other ice in the West Antarctic. If enough melts and the subsequent ice is released into the ocean, it could be enough to submerge parts of Miami, New York City, and New Orleans, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Monday's study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that the process documented in the study will speed up the results of previous glacier melt models.

"The water is able to penetrate beneath the ice over much longer distances than we thought," ice scientist Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, who led the study, told USA Today. "It's kind of sending a shock wave down our spine to see that water moving kilometers."

"Thwaites is the most unstable place in the Antarctic and contains the equivalent of 60 centimeters (2 feet) of sea-level rise," said Christine Dow of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, co-author of the study. "The worry is that we are underestimating the speed that the glacier is changing, which would be devastating for coastal communities around the world."

While Rignot told USA Today that it will take decades, if not centuries, for the glacier to melt entirely at its current pace, he stressed the need for human stewardship.

"Part of the answer also depends on whether our climate keeps getting warmer or not which depends completely on us and how we manage the planet," he said.

James Morley III

James Morley III is a writer with more than two decades of experience in entertainment, travel, technology, and science and nature. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A major West Antarctica glacier is experiencing greater exposure to warm undersea currents than previously believed, according to a study published Monday.
climate change, global warming, antarctica, glacier
344
2024-04-21
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 03:04 PM
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