An Enormous Cavity Within Antarctic Glacier Hints Speedy Decay
A gigantic void two-thirds the part of Manhattan and nearly 300-m tall has been discovered in Antarctica at the base of Thwaites Glacier. The glacier, around the dimension of Florida, is accountable for about 4% of total sea level rise. It embraces sufficient ice to increase the world oceans a bit more than 65 cm and backstops adjacent glaciers that would elevate sea levels another 2.4 m if all the ice were melted, as per the Daily Mail report.
The huge cavern once clenched 14 billion tons of ice. However, in the period of merely 3 Years, it has thawed and ran into the Southern Ocean. As per the research by the US space agency, the empty space was resulted by the newly found “fingers” of temperate water running into breaks in the glacier resulted by escalating climate alteration. This water then collected between the rock and ice, wearing away the glacier on top of it.
NASA scientist and study lead author, Pietro Milillo, stated, “As more water and heat get underneath the glacier, it thaws quicker.” And the subsurface ice wearing away has alarming repercussions. Not only is more ice thawing than noticed earlier, but it also demonstrates the 160-km wide Thwaites Glacier is not as tightly adhered to the plane of the Antarctic continent as thought. This implies the ice mass—around Florida’s size—can fall to pieces and trip into the sea, much quicker than estimated.
Likewise, it was quite cold in the US this week and believed to be colder than Alaska. A new gif by Atmospheric Infrared Sounder of NASA on the Aqua satellite provided a visual representation of the deadly and dramatic cold snap, showing temperatures dropping to −40°C. The gif shows the phenomena accountable for the temperatures confronted by much of the US this week, referred to as the polar vortex.