After the Larsen C fracture, the scientists concentrated their work on the Thwaites, one of the toughest places on earth, but they are about to know better than ever before.
In 2010, NASA launched Operation IceBridge, a campaign to study the link between polar regions and the global climate, and thus measure the impacts of climate change. Until then, the Thwaites Glacier was one of the most difficult places to land on Earth, but with the recently released report of the US space agency, it is going to be better known than ever.
Document, published on Wednesday, January 30 in Science Advancesshows that researchers look extremely attentive to the gigantic cavity – two-thirds of Manhatan and about 300 meters high – growing at the Thwaites' bottom located in western western Antarctica.
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Researchers' conclusions suggest that the lower part of the Antarctic glaciers need to be deeper in order to calculate how rapidly global sea levels rise as a result of climate change.
In the beginning, the scientists expected that in the lower part of the Thwaites there would be gaps between ice and rock, allowing the circulation of ocean water to melt it from the bottom.
However, the size and explosive growth rate of the new hole surprised them, since it was large enough to contain 14 billion tons of iceEspecially because most of the ice has melted in the last three years.
In this regard, academic staff at the University of California at Irvine and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Eric Rignot, said: "For many years, we have suspected that Thwaites was not well connected to the underlying rock, and now, thanks to the new generation of satellites, we can finally see the details."
The researcher added that the detected cavity was detected by icebreaking radar in the IceBridge operation, except for the data obtained from the constellation of synthetic irradiation radar of the Italian and German spacecraft.
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"This data from very high resolution can be processed by a technique called radar interferometry that reveals how the surface moves underground between the frames, "he said.
It is worth mentioning that the Thwaites Glacier is currently responsible for about 4 percent of the sea level rise across the world and that if a complete fracture and loss of ice occurs, this level would increase between 65 and 80 centimeters,
Because of the real risks that exist, it is that National Foundation The United States and the National Environmental Research Council in the United Kingdom have decided to launch a five-year field project aimed at measuring long-term ice loss.
The problem is that there is currently no way to monitor Antarctic glaciers from terrain, so they need to use data from aviation or satellite devices to track the characteristics that change as the glacier melts.
Additional information that scientists are watching is related to the iceberg connection, which is nothing more than a place on the edge of the continent where it rises out of bed and begins to swim in the seawater.
Many Antarctic glaciers stretch for miles from its land lines floating above the open ocean, and when this happens, the land line retreats in, expands more glaciers' seawater, which increases the likelihood that its Speed of Fusion is accelerated.