Antarctic ‘doomsday glacier’ threatened with imminent collapse, scientists warn | Top stories

Antarctic ‘doomsday glacier’ threatened with imminent collapse, scientists warn

| Breaking News Updates | Fox News

An Antarctic glacier the size of Florida is on the verge of collapse, scientists from the American Geophysical Union warned on Monday, a nightmarish scenario made worse by climate change that could eventually lead to sea level rise by several meters.

The results were based on new satellite images of the Thwaites Glacier, dubbed the “doomsday glacier,” showing a proliferation of cracks on its surface.

“Eastern sea ice is likely to break into hundreds of icebergs,” Erin Pettit, a glaciologist at Oregon State University, said on video conference Monday. “Suddenly everything would fall apart.”

Scientists have been monitoring the glacier, whose current melting contributes about four percent of annual sea level rise, for years. Its eastern part adjoins a submarine mountain and was considered more stable, but new satellite images have revealed that fractures have developed that allow ocean waters to warm up to accelerate its disintegration.

If the eastern part of the glacier gave way, it would accelerate the collapse of its other parts, Pettit said, adding that the collapse of the eastern part could occur in the next three to five years, “like your car bursting. . the window.”

“As it is currently structured, this pack ice acts like a dam. But it’s not going to last very long, ”said Pettit.

The Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica. (NASA / Document via Reuters)

The chain reaction that followed the collapse of the eastern part of the glacier could threaten coastal residents around the world, many of whom may not be prepared for a sudden rise in sea level, which has slowly risen due to the change. climate since the dawn of the industrial revolution. . Since 1880, rising global temperatures have resulted in sea level rise of 8 to 9 inches, although the rate of increase has increased sharply in recent decades. By 2100, NASA predicts that climate change will cause the sea to rise 2 to 6 feet, largely due to melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland.

The Thwaites Glacier has melted due to a combination of warm air and water temperatures, caused at least in part by climate change, making it more unstable. Between the 1980s and 2017, the glacier lost 600 billion tonnes of ice. As the oceans continue to warm, the glacier is expected to become increasingly undocked to the land, increasing its risk of collapse.

“Things are moving very quickly here,” Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said at Monday’s press conference. “It’s intimidating.”

While it may take centuries for the full impact of a total collapse of the Thwaites Glacier to be felt, the latest data from Antarctica gives scientists no reason to be optimistic.

“Every new satellite image we get, we see deeper and longer fractures,” Pettit said, adding, “what we’re already seeing is enough to worry about. Thwaites is kind of a monster.

Today Headlines Google News Antarctic ‘doomsday glacier’ threatened with imminent collapse, scientists warn

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button