Doomsday Glacier Antarctica: Researchers Say “Doomsday Glacier” May Melt Faster Than Expected!
This week, geologists reported that a key glacier in Antarctica is at risk of melting much faster than initially expected.
Researchers discovered that the Thwaites Glacier, also known as the “Doomsday Glacier,” has retreated by as much as 1.3 miles a year over approximately six months in the previous 200 years, according to the conclusions of a study published on Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The research was carried out during the last 200 years. That is more than twice as fast as the rate observed between 2011 and 2019.
“Our findings suggest that pulses of very rapid retreat have occurred at Thwaites Glacier in the last two centuries, and possibly as recently as the mid-20th Century,” Alastair Graham, a marine geophysicist at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science, said in a university press release.
According to Graham, “our results show that pulses of swift retreat have occurred at Thwaites Glacier in the last two millennia.” According to the experts’ conclusions, the glacier’s melting is a worrying sign for the future because global temperatures are anticipated to rise more.
According to co-author Robert Larter of the British Antarctic Survey, as the glacier retreats beyond a shallow ridge in its bed, we should expect to observe significant shifts over small time scales in the future, even from one year to the next. “Thwaites is truly hanging on by its fingernails today,” he added. “In the future, we should expect large changes on small time scales.”
According to NBC News, the Thwaites is roughly the size of the state of Florida and accounts for around 5% of Antarctica’s contribution to global sea-level rise.
However, if the glacier disintegrates, the outlet claims that sea levels around the planet might rise by up to 0.6 meters (about 2 feet). Previous research has predicted that this could happen as early as 2031.
According to NBC News, one of the study’s co-authors, Anna When, also a professor of physical oceanography at Sweden’s Gothenburg University, noted that “approximately 100 years ago, it retreated quicker than it is currently retreating.” “You could say that’s good news,” she added.
According to Yahoo News, the glacier’s “Doomsday” moniker derives from the impact it could have on the planet if it recedes, which is how it got its name in the first place. “However, it’s also bad news because it might happen again.”
According to Graham’s press release, even a minor provocation could elicit a significant reaction from Thwaites.
According to specialists who talked with the BBC in December, warming waters are making the glacier’s ice shelf less stable and thinner. As this continues, it will probably disconnect from its undersea ridge, making it less durable.
According to the site, Dr. Erin Pettit of Oregon State University described the glacier’s melting as “akin to that car window where you have a few cracks that are steadily propagating.” “And then you hit a bump in your car, and everything just starts to shatter in every direction.”