The so-called Thwaites ‘doomsday glacier’ in Western Antarctica is the size of Britain and is known to be melting at an alarming rate. The NERC and NSF partnership, called the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC), covers research across Thwaites Glacier and its adjacent ocean region; the glacier flows into Pine Island Bay, part of Amundsen Sea. There are far more massive glaciers, like the Thwaites Glacier, which is about the size of Florida. Melting ice from the Thwaites into the Amundsen Sea already accounts for approximately 4% of current global sea-level rise — a number that would significantly increase when the glacier … Even now, ice draining from Thwaites into the Amundsen Sea accounts for about 4% of global sea-level rise. Visiting the most vulnerable place on Earth: the 'doomsday glacier', International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, Antarctica melting: Climate change and the journey to the 'doomsday glacier', "Thwaites Glacier: Antarctica, name, geographic coordinates, description, map", "Time 'Thwaites' for no one: the story behind Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica", "The Race to Understand Antarctica's Most Terrifying Glacier", "Scientists Predict Faster Retreat for Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier - The Earth Institute - Columbia University", "This Antarctic glacier is the biggest threat for rising sea levels. Each of the ITGC field projects, shown as red solid circles, has a principle geographic focus of their study, related to the processes they intend to study. “Not only that, b… The glacier terminus is nearly 120 km wide, and the bed of the glacier reaches to >1000 m below sea level. Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is 74,000 square miles, the size of Great Britain, and is thought to be particularly susceptible to climate change. They wanted to understand how possible scenarios of future sea level rise might change over time as a result of marine ice sheet instability. [13], Extensive calving at the marine terminus of Thwaites Glacier is monitored by remote sensing and seismological observations, with the largest events being seismically detectable at ranges up to 1600 km. [23][24], In January 2019, NASA discovered an underwater cavity underneath the glacier, with an area two-thirds the size of Manhattan. Its front end measures about 100 miles across, and its glacial basin—the thick … It reveals how a 120square mile (312 sq km) chunk of ice broke off from the glacier's main body. Over the past 30 years, the amount of ice flowing out of the region has nearly doubled, and computer models show that over the next several decades, the glacier may lose ice even more rapidly. [7] However, the glacier has been considered to be the biggest threat on relevant time scales, for rising seas, current studies aim to better quantify retreat and possible impacts. Scientists race … © 2020 CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder. At 74,000 square miles, the glacier is roughly the same size as Florida and is particularly susceptible to climate and ocean changes, according to the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. [12] The discovery was a part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, a US-UK-based research firm. As of 2003, B-22 had broken into five pieces, with B-22A still in the vicinity of the tongue, while the other smaller pieces had drifted farther west. All these observational projects will provide input to the two modeling studies, PROPHET and DOMINOS, which will strive to create a better forecast of the glacier’s retreat, and explore conditions that could lead to a rapid increase in ice loss. The growing cavity sits in West Antarctica at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier, which is about as big as Florida and contains enough ice to contribute more than 2 … It was initially delineated from aerial photographs collected during Operation Highjump in January 1947. Warm ocean water from the Amundsen Sea circulates under the ice, causing it to melt. Due to this friction the glacier is considered stable in the short term. It was initially delineated from aerial photographs collected during Operation Highjump in January 1947. “Thwaites is a terrifying glacier,” Anandakrishnan says simply. It holds enough ice to raise the world ocean a little over 2 feet (65 centimeters) and backstops neighboring glaciers that would raise sea levels an additional 8 feet (2.4 meters) if all the ice were lost. Over the past 30 years, the amount of ice flowing out of this 120-kilometer-wide region has nearly doubled. [2] Its surface speeds exceed 2 kilometres per year (1.2 miles per year) near its grounding line. [14], Swamp-like canal areas and streams underlie the glacier. It's a giant mass of more than 192,000 square kilometers (74,000 square miles) -- an area similar in size … Thwaites currently contributes roughly 4% to global sea level rise. Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest and most unstable ice streams in Antarctica. The impact on … 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. 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. Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier together account for 3% of grounded ice-sheet area, but they receive 7% of Antarctica’s snowfall 1. GHOST is a traverse of the core of the glacier, looking at ice and bedrock characteristics with seismic and radar data. They confirm thawing of the Thwaites glacier contributes about four percent of global sea-level rise. [28], International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC). Winberry, J. P., A. D. Huerta, S. Anandakrishnan, R. Aster, A. Nyblade, and D. A. Wiens (2020), Glacial Earthquakes and Precursory Seismicity Associated with Thwaites‐Glacier Calving, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2019gl086178. Thwaites, he said, was a 120km-wide “monster glacier” that is continuing its retreat with huge future implications, because it could potentially add 0.6 metres to rising seas. British and American experts are launching the largest joint mission for more than 70 years to investigate how long the 113,000 square-mile Thwaites Glacier can last in its current form. It was delineated by the USGS from aerial photographs collected during Operation Highjump and Operation Deepfreeze. Thwaites Glacier is closely watched for its potential to raise sea levels. A file photo of the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica, known as the 'Doomsday Glacier'. GHC will collect rock samples from either side of Thwaites Glacier to look for clues as to its recent past history—as will the THOR project, using marine sediments, bathymetric mapping, and oceanography. ITGC is the largest joint UK-US project undertaken on the southern continent in 70 years. 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