The lawsuit sought to invalidate results in four states where President Trump lost the US election. Investigating Thwaites Glacier Educational Infographic. But the current melting trend would suggest this situation won't last much longer, says BAS's Dr Robert Larter. They trace the path of a network of deep channels that cut through a ridge before joining up to form a major cavity under the ice shelf. The cause of the melting is thought to be the influx of relatively warm bottom-water drawn in from the wider ocean. The many faces of Thwaites ice shelf. Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in West Antarctica covering a region of the size of Great Britain (see Fig. British and American scientists have had to temporarily suspend their investigations at Thwaites because of the Covid-19 crisis. No-one thinks this will happen in the short-to-medium term, but Thwaites is considered particularly vulnerable in a warming world, and scientists would like to know precisely how fast any changes might occur. In the 1990s it was losing just over 10 billion tonnes of ice a year. Thwaites Glacier is located on the Western border of the Antarctic continent. Velocity map of the Thwaites Glacier catchment, West Antarctica - Volume 50 Issue 168 - Oliver Lang, Bernhard T. Rabus, Stefan W. Dech It appears that costly and sophisticated research by these very dedicated climate scientists has made the amazing discovery that maps the deep channels on the seafloor bathymetry by which warm water reaches the underside of the Thwaites glacier and thus explains how this Doomsday glacier melts. What the researchers have produced, if you like, is a kind of "stickiness index" to additionally constrain the computer models. Scientists Produce Map Tracking Ice Movement in Antarctica. This Antarctic colossus is melting at a rapid rate, dumping billions of tonnes of ice in the ocean every year and pushing up global sea-levels. “The more this marine ice sheet instability occurs, the wider the range of possible future sea level rise becomes,” Robel says. The Thwaites Glacier is often considered one of the most important when it comes to changes in sea level, but it has been little studied. "Even before ice shelf break-up, the unpinning and thinning will reduce the buttressing effect of the ice shelf on the glacier upstream of it, resulting in increased ice flow velocity. “Not only that… Maps and Graphics. © 2020 BBC. Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S 106°45′W) is an unusually broad and fast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land.Its surface speeds exceed 2 km/yr near its grounding line, and its fastest flowing grounded ice is centred between 50 and 100 km east of Mount Murphy. Home; About . Latitude: -75° 29' 59.99" SLongitude: -106° 44' 59.99" W, Satellite map of Thwaites Glacier in Google Maps. 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. Newsweek. By Jonathan AmosBBC Science Correspondent. A massive one that poses such risk it's been branded the 'Doomsday Glacier". 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The rheology and topography of the bed affect how quickly Thwaites retreats and contributes to sea-level rise: it could rapidly collapse, or retreat might slow or pause on a subglacial ridge (GHOST Ridge) 70 kilometers inland of the current grounding line. Think of six football pitches back to back," said Dr Kelly Hogan from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). 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. About the ITGC; Thwaites Glacier Facts; ... Maps and Graphics. See the latest updates, context, and perspectives about this story. This is a high-resolution map of Thwaites Glacier's thinning ice shelf. Read More. Thwaites Glacier, sometimes referred to as the Doomsday Glacier, is an unusually broad and vast Antarctic glacier flowing into the Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land. The UK and the US joined forces in 2019 to investigate Thwaites. Thwaites: 'Doomsday Glacier' vulnerability seen in new maps The icebreaker, the Nathaniel B Palmer, mapped more than 2000 sq km of seafloor in front of the glacier Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's. Robel, along with scientists Helene Seroussi and Gerard Roe used mathematical analysis and computer models to make projections of sea levels in the future. Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in West Antarctica covering a region of the size of Great Britain (see Fig. Main navigation. West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier covers 70,270 square miles (182,000 square km), the approximate size of Florida. Can shearing of Thwaites glacier slow or stop if humans control greenhouse gas emissions? 1).. Over the past 30 years, this glacier has undergone dramatic changes. It was named by ACAN for Fredrik T. Thwaites, a glacial geologist, geomorphologist and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica are enormous in size and often referred to as the most dangerous glacier on Earth. The Thwaites Glacier is...a glacier. It was named by the Ad… New seafloor maps reveal the first clear view of a system of channels that may be helping to hasten the demise of West Antarctica’s vulnerable Thwaites Glacier. Glaciers everywhere might be melting, but only one has earned the most terrifying nickname: the Doomsday Glacier. Over the past 30 years, this glacier has undergone dramatic changes. These deviations reflected the seafloor's undulations beneath the shelf. It's a majestic sight, with its buoyant front, or "ice shelf", pushing far out to sea and kicking off huge icebergs. It's information that will be used to try to predict the ice stream's future. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. Scientists need real-world data to corral their models so that when they run simulations of possible future behaviour, they get realistic outcomes. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. At 192,000 square kilometres, the Thwaites Glacier is the size of Great Britain or the US state of Florida. "These channels had not been mapped before in this kind of detail, and what we've discovered is that they're actually much bigger than anyone thought - up to 600m deep. 1). This in turn will further accelerate thinning of the glacier and grounding line retreat.". Maps and Graphics. New seafloor maps reveal the first clear view of a system of channels that may be helping to hasten the demise of West Antarctica’s vulnerable Thwaites Glacier. But satellite monitoring indicates this glacier is melting at an accelerating rate. This tells them about the sorts of speeds ice further back in the glacier can achieve as it slides across rock and sediment. Thwaites Glacier holds enough ice to drive up sea levels more than 2 feet. "It's amazing to go to a place like Thwaites to see the changes taking place right before your eyes," said Dr Hogan. "The connected channels that we've mapped in detail for the first time are the potential pathways for deep-ocean warm water to get in and do damage at that point where the glacier is still grounded on the seabed, where it begins to lift up and float," explained BAS colleague Dr Tom Jordan, "but also to melt the base of the ice shelf, which if you weaken will make the ice further upstream in the glacier flow faster.". The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Its ice flow has accelerated by about 50-100 m per year since 2009. Teams were due to head back to the glacier this austral summer, but the location's remoteness means the risks are too great should anyone fall ill. Once the coronavirus outbreak has been properly contained, the scientists will return, however. A plane was also flown back and forth across the shelf to measure small variations in the pull of gravity. Officially called the Thwaites Glacier, this mass of ice nestled into the western edge of Antarctica is melting at an alarming rate. They wanted to understand how possible scenarios of future sea level rise might change over time as a result of marine ice sheet instability. "And because they are so deep, and so wide - this allows a lot more water to get at, and melt, Thwaites' floating front as well as its ice that rests on the seabed," she told BBC News. The urgency stems from observations and analyses showing that the amount of ice flowing from Thwaites—and contributing to sea level rise—has doubled in the span of three decades. Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S 106°45′W) is an unusually broad and fast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land.Its surface speeds exceed 2 km/yr near its grounding line, and its fastest flowing grounded ice is centred between 50 and 100 km east of Mount Murphy. Its melting already contributes 4% of global sea level rise and there are fears that it could become unstable and contribute many metres to global sea level. Its surface speeds exceed 2 km/yr near its grounding line, and its fastest flowing grounded ice is centred between 50 and 100 km east of Mount Murphy. Arriving around 5 a.m., the Palmer begins to map the uncharted perimeter, the multibeam simultaneously mapping the seafloor in front and as far under the shelf as the angle of the sound pulse could extend. The new information refines the volumes for ingressing warm water that can be considered possible under different scenarios. Thwaites Glacier The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. In conducting their survey, scientists also now have a better idea of the general roughness of the seafloor. The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration is performing some magnificent science, conducting the most ambitious fieldwork ever undertaken at the tip of what is one of the most significant glaciers on Earth. 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A look at maps … The latest research is published in two papers in the journal The Cryosphere, and can be accessed here and here. ITGC Logistics Outline, 2 May 2018. The icebreaker, the Nathaniel B Palmer, mapped more than 2,000 sq km of seafloor in front of the glacierScientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel.This Antarctic colossus is melting at a rapid rate, dumping billions of tonnes of ice in the ocean every year and pushing up global sea-levels.Now, a UK-US team has surveyed the deep seafloor channels By Peter Sinclair | Nov 20, 2020 Runaway sea-level rise resulting from retreat of Antarctica's Thwaites glacier depends on humans' substantially cutting GHG emissions. Now, a UK-US team has surveyed the deep seafloor channels in front of the glacier that almost certainly provide the access for warm water to infiltrate and attack Thwaites' underside. Antarctica's Thwaites glacier has warm water from three directions well under it threatening to destroy the ice sheet and raise global sea levels by up to two feet. Thwaites Glacier. "When the Eastern Ice Shelf becomes unpinned, the ice will spread out and thin, eventually breaking up, as we can see is happening right now on the (central) glacier tongue," he told BBC News. Its ice flow has accelerated by about 50-100 m per year since 2009. These hidden ducts lubricate its collapse into the ocean. Supreme Court rejects Trump-backed election lawsuit, Covid: Homeless left struggling for shelter. "When we were there in 2019, we were able to get right up to the ice shelf cliffs, and the reason we could do that and make our observations was because the icebergs and sea-ice that have always been there historically are starting to disappear.". Thwaites Glacier covers 74,000 square miles—an area the size of Florida—and is particularly susceptible to climate and ocean changes. 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. Toggle navigation. 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. It is also one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in Antarctica. ITGC Thwaites Glacier. The bedrock below Thwaites and other glaciers is conducive to runaway melting that … Glaciers are huge sheets of ice moving very slowly, and contain vast amounts of … Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S 106°45′W / 75.500°S 106.750°W ), sometimes referred to as the Doomsday Glacier, is an unusually broad and vast Antarctic glacier flowing into the Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land. A large area of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet flows to the ocean via Thwaites Glacier, which extends over 192,000 sq kms (74,000 sq miles), an area the size of Florida or the island of Britain. Maps That Peer Below Antarctic Ice Show Precarious Position of Key Glacier. Their scientists sailed a ship equipped with an echo-sounder right up to the glacier's ice cliffs, to trace the shape of the seabed below. The Palmer glides slowly, 400 meters from the face of the ice shelf in front of Thwaites Glacier. Our geologists onboard captured most of what they need to reconstruct past ocean and ice changes at Thwaites Glacier, creating maps of geologic features on the seafloor, acquiring history records from marine sediment cores, and picking up a few penguin bones and rocks along the way to age-date past glacial changes. US Pfizer Covid vaccine approved for emergency use, US faces bleak winter amid worst Covid wave yet, Trump's latest, legal longshot to challenge result, Covid: Homeless left struggling for shelter. Flowing off the west of the Antarctic continent, Thwaites is almost as big as Great Britain. Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. Its surface speeds exceed 2 kilometres per year (1.2 miles per year) near its grounding line. At the moment, the eastern side of the ice shelf is hooked on to a large ridge, which gives it stability. Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel. GHOST is an ice- and modeling-based project that will examine the bed and interior of Thwaites Glacier. The two datasets taken together now provide the best view yet of Thwaites' underlying topography. Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S106°45′W) is an unusually broad and fast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land. A new expedition hopes to change that. 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. Its fastest flowing grounded ice is centred between 50 and 100 kilometres (31 and 62 mi) east of Mount Murphy. Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos, .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Supreme Court rejects Trump-backed election lawsuit. The channels are … Thwaites Glacier. Warm circumpolar deep water is melting the underside of this floating shelf, leading to an ongoing speedup of Thwaites Glacier. Read about our approach to external linking. Today, it's more like 80 billion tonnes. Much longer, says BAS 's Dr Robert Larter at Maps … is... 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