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See the latest updates, context, and perspectives about this story. It was named by the Ad… Maps That Peer Below Antarctic Ice Show Precarious Position of Key Glacier. Scientists Produce Map Tracking Ice Movement in Antarctica. Newsweek. Think of six football pitches back to back," said Dr Kelly Hogan from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Robel, along with scientists Helene Seroussi and Gerard Roe used mathematical analysis and computer models to make projections of sea levels in the future. Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in West Antarctica covering a region of the size of Great Britain (see Fig. The UK and the US joined forces in 2019 to investigate Thwaites. 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Scientists need real-world data to corral their models so that when they run simulations of possible future behaviour, they get realistic outcomes. “Not only that… This in turn will further accelerate thinning of the glacier and grounding line retreat.". A look at maps … 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. A plane was also flown back and forth across the shelf to measure small variations in the pull of gravity. Home; About . Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. Maps and Graphics. 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. Velocity map of the Thwaites Glacier catchment, West Antarctica - Volume 50 Issue 168 - Oliver Lang, Bernhard T. Rabus, Stefan W. Dech Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. 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. GHOST is an ice- and modeling-based project that will examine the bed and interior of Thwaites Glacier. What the researchers have produced, if you like, is a kind of "stickiness index" to additionally constrain the computer models. Can shearing of Thwaites glacier slow or stop if humans control greenhouse gas emissions? These deviations reflected the seafloor's undulations beneath the shelf. They trace the path of a network of deep channels that cut through a ridge before joining up to form a major cavity under the ice shelf. It is also one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in Antarctica. This is a high-resolution map of Thwaites Glacier's thinning ice shelf. 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. "The connected channels that we've mapped in detail for the first time are the potential pathways for deep-ocean warm water to get in and do damage at that point where the glacier is still grounded on the seabed, where it begins to lift up and float," explained BAS colleague Dr Tom Jordan, "but also to melt the base of the ice shelf, which if you weaken will make the ice further upstream in the glacier flow faster.". The Thwaites Glacier is...a glacier. 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. The new information refines the volumes for ingressing warm water that can be considered possible under different scenarios. Thwaites Glacier covers 74,000 square miles—an area the size of Florida—and is particularly susceptible to climate and ocean changes. This Antarctic colossus is melting at a rapid rate, dumping billions of tonnes of ice in the ocean every year and pushing up global sea-levels. The Palmer glides slowly, 400 meters from the face of the ice shelf in front of Thwaites Glacier. 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. 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. The bedrock below Thwaites and other glaciers is conducive to runaway melting that … Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S106°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. Glaciers are huge sheets of ice moving very slowly, and contain vast amounts of … Arriving around 5 a.m., the Palmer begins to map the uncharted perimeter, the multibeam simultaneously mapping the seafloor in front and as far under the shelf as the angle of the sound pulse could extend. 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. About the ITGC; Thwaites Glacier Facts; ... Maps and Graphics. Our geologists onboard captured most of what they need to reconstruct past ocean and ice changes at Thwaites Glacier, creating maps of geologic features on the seafloor, acquiring history records from marine sediment cores, and picking up a few penguin bones and rocks along the way to age-date past glacial changes. Now, a UK-US team has surveyed the deep seafloor channels in front of the glacier that almost certainly provide the access for warm water to infiltrate and attack Thwaites' underside. 1).. Over the past 30 years, this glacier has undergone dramatic changes. Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos, .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Supreme Court rejects Trump-backed election lawsuit. It appears that costly and sophisticated research by these very dedicated climate scientists has made the amazing discovery that maps the deep channels on the seafloor bathymetry by which warm water reaches the underside of the Thwaites glacier and thus explains how this Doomsday glacier melts. In conducting their survey, scientists also now have a better idea of the general roughness of the seafloor. A new expedition hopes to change that. 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. 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. Maps and Graphics. 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. Today, it's more like 80 billion tonnes. "It's amazing to go to a place like Thwaites to see the changes taking place right before your eyes," said Dr Hogan. Glaciers everywhere might be melting, but only one has earned the most terrifying nickname: the Doomsday Glacier. 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. But satellite monitoring indicates this glacier is melting at an accelerating rate. 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, 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. These hidden ducts lubricate its collapse into the ocean. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. 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. Teams were due to head back to the glacier this austral summer, but the location's remoteness means the risks are too great should anyone fall ill. Once the coronavirus outbreak has been properly contained, the scientists will return, however. In the 1990s it was losing just over 10 billion tonnes of ice a year. 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