Scientists fear giant Antarctic glacier will break

Scientists fear the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is fracturing and could shatter as easily as a car window.

Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is huge, about the size of England. Scientists have long been closely monitoring the glacier's changes.

Because of its large size, when the Thwaites glacier melts, it will have a big impact, causing sea levels to rise. Also because of its great influence, many people give Thwaites the nickname "the end of the world glacier".

Picture 1 of Scientists fear giant Antarctic glacier will break
Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is enormous in size.

Currently, the melting of the Thwaites glacier causes about 4% of global sea level rise annually, dumping about 50 billion tons of ice per year into the sea.

However, the researchers say the melting process is trending up to speed, and warn that Earth could see "significant changes" in just a few years.

Professor Ted Scambos, principal US coordinator for the Thwaites Glacier International Collaboration, said: "There will be significant change in the front of the glacier in less than a decade. Both studies. published and unpublished both point in that direction. This will accelerate the melting of Thwaites faster and widen the dangerous part of the glacier."

Over the past three decades, the flow rate of the Thwaites Glacier has doubled. Warm water spreads down the ice shelf of Thwaite and melts from below.

Warm water weakens the ice, and if the glacier melts completely, it could raise sea levels by 65cm.

Ted Scambos says that Thwaites is the widest glacier in the world. Its melting rate has doubled in the past 30 years. According to Ted Scambos, "the entire glacier contains enough water that when it melts, it raises the sea level by more than 0.6 meters. It could even lead to even more sea level rise, up to 3 meters, if it drags it along. surrounding glaciers melt".

Dr Erin Pettit from Oregon State University compared glaciers to car windshields. She explains: "I picture a glacier a bit like a car window, where there are a few cracks and they're slowly spreading, and then suddenly the whole thing starts to break apart in all directions. We can't do that. reverses sea-level rise, so it's important to look at how to mitigate and protect coastal communities now."

Before that, the large, deep, ice-covered lake in Antarctica "suddenly" disappeared in satellite images, worrying scientists.