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Tag: Glacier

Thwaites: ‘Doomsday Glacier’ vulnerability seen in new maps

Thwaites: ‘Doomsday Glacier’ vulnerability seen in new maps

Science
Scientists 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 in front of the glacier that almost certainly provide the access for warm water to infiltrate and attack Thwaites' underside.It's information that will be used to try to predict the ice stream's future."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. Think of six football pitches back to back," said Dr Kelly Hogan from the British Antarctic Sur...
Antarctica melting: Journey to the ‘doomsday’ glacier

Antarctica melting: Journey to the ‘doomsday’ glacier

Science
The images are murky at first.Sediment sweeps past the camera as Icefin, a bright yellow remotely operated robot submarine, moves tentatively forward under the ice.Then the waters begin to clear.Icefin is under almost half a mile (600m) of ice, at the front of one the fastest-changing large glaciers in the world. Suddenly a shadow looms above, an overhanging cliff of dirt-encrusted ice.It doesn't look like much, but this is a unique image - the first ever pictures from a frontier that is changing our world.Icefin has reached the point at which the warm ocean water meets the wall of ice at the front of the mighty Thwaites glacier - the point where this vast body of ice begins to melt. The ...
Denman Glacier: Deepest point on land found in Antarctica

Denman Glacier: Deepest point on land found in Antarctica

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device The deepest point on continental Earth has been identified in East Antarctica, under Denman Glacier.This ice-filled canyon reaches 3.5km (11,500ft) below sea level. Only in the ocean are the valleys deeper still.The discovery is illustrated in a new map of the White Continent that reveals the shape of the bedrock under the ice sheet in unprecedented detail.Its features will be critical to our understanding of how the polar south might change in the future.For comparison, the lowest exposed land on Earth, at the Dead Sea shore, is just 413m (1,355ft) below sea level.The new finding shows, for example, previously unrecognised ridges that will impede the retreat of melting glaciers in a warming world; ...
Calving to leave Thwaites Glacier increasingly vulnerable to collapse

Calving to leave Thwaites Glacier increasingly vulnerable to collapse

Science
Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The melting of the Thwaites Glacier is responsible for roughly 10 percent of current global sea level rise. The number would be higher if not for the Antarctic glacier's ice shelf, the part that floats atop the ocean and insulates thicker ice farther inland. New research -- published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters -- suggests that once that protection is gone, the glacier's flow toward the ocean, and its subsequent breakup, is likely to accelerate. To find out how quickly calving would accelerate the glacier's retreat in absence of its ice shelf, scientists ran 20 models designed to simulate two different calving mechanisms and ice front melting, melting that is concentrated along the glacier's front edge. The models produced a variety of outcomes d...
Images reveal Iceland’s glacier melt

Images reveal Iceland’s glacier melt

Science
A photography project has highlighted the extent of ice loss from Iceland's glaciers.A team from Scotland and Iceland compared photographs taken in the 1980s with present-day drone images.They focused on the south side of the Vatnajökull ice cap, which covers about 7,700sq km of land. Dr Kieran Baxter, from the University of Dundee, said: "We saw a staggering difference in a very short amount of time." Interactive See how the Skálafellsjökull glacier has changed since 1989 2019 1989 The project - which also involved the Univer