Scientists predict Thwaites, Antarctica’s largest glacier with an area the size of Florida and England, will melt rapidly due to climate change.
The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC) says the cause is warming seawater beneath the Thwaites front. This warm water mixes with the ice, which over time will weaken the ice so that the glacier ice melts and makes the main glacier zone float in the sea.
That’s why a group of researchers from England and the United States were involved in the study. In fact, this will not have a large effect on global sea levels and will have only a small effect on the affected area.
But if all melted, sea levels would rise by 65 cm because of the large amount of ice upstream of the glacier’s drainage basin. This will also affect the fate of glaciers in the future.
Prof Ted Scambos, United States Lead Coordinator of Glaciologists for the ITGC, predicts in less than a decade there will be dramatic changes on the glacier front. He added, research and other studies related to Thwaites have also shown a similar event in that direction.
He said this would certainly speed up the process of melting Thwaites and would eventually pose a danger to the glaciers. The current speed of Thwaites itself has doubled over the last 30 years.
At present, the 40 km wide eastern edge of the ice shelf is held up by underwater mountains, so the speed is only 600 m per year, much slower than the western ice shelf which is twice as wide.
But in the future, it is estimated that this speed will increase to 2 km per year, the same speed as the current speed of the western iceberg.
But the ITGC team said the eastern chunk is likely to break loose in the next few years. In the end it will lead to unstable conditions. And even if the eastern chunk survives, cracks will definitely continue to occur in the ice pack. So it could be later will split the area.
Dr. Erin Pettit from Oregon State University, United States described the condition of the broken glass like a car window. If the car has several cracks in certain areas that are increasingly spreading. When the car crosses the speed bump, the windows will shatter in all directions.
Every summer, scientists routinely investigate changes in glaciers in a variety of ways and terrains. Like from the ship in front of Thwaites, from the ice, to the satellite.
Scientists are preparing a project by creating a small yellow submarine without a crew. They named him “Boaty McBoatface”.
The submarine is to dive into the ocean beneath the floating ice of the Thwaites glacier. They will collect data on water temperature, turbulence, current direction, and all the factors that have an influence on glacier melting.
The dive process is carried out in a period of one to four days and he has technology that can navigate himself.