- Jul 27, 2015
Source : Thwaites GlacierA new study led by NASA has found a giant cavity in the underside of the huge Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. The gigantic void is a thousand feet tall (300 m) and about two-thirds the area of Manhattan Island, according to the space agency.
The researchers estimate that the hole is big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, but most of it was melted over the past three years thanks to ocean water flowing into gaps between the glacial ice and rock below. "We have suspected for years that Thwaites was not tightly attached to the bedrock beneath it," said Eric Rignot from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Rignot co-authored a new study published in Science Advances that used observations from ice-penetrating radar in NASA's Operation IceBridge and a constellation of newer satellites to take a closer look at what's happening under the giant glacier, which is roughly the size of Florida. The Thwaites Glacier contains enough ice to raise the global network of oceans by more than two feet (65 cm), but it also acts as a plug of sorts for adjacent glaciers. If all that ice were to also slide into the ocean and melt, it would raise sea levels another 8 feet (2.4 m).
While all that added water probably wouldn't lead to an evenly distributed water level rise across all coastlines, it could be enough to displace over 2 million people from Florida and tens of thousands from other major cities like New York and New Orleans. And that's to say nothing of all those ruined beach homes and fetching coastal retreats.
Video is from 2nd may 2018.