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Thwaites Glacier is extremely remote; the study sites on the glacier are about 1,000 miles away from both the UK’s British Antarctic Survey Rothera Research Station and the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station. Notice the size of the glacier’s main ice tongue in 2001, when the glacier was advancing by about 4 kilometers per year. The project is a collaboration between the National Science Foundation and the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council, which independently recognized that Thwaites was a crucial but under-scrutinized glacier when it comes to understanding future sea level rise. Like other glaciers, Thwaites has a long, thin tongue of ice that sticks out into seawater. This interface is called the grounding line. Find out why this is so important to unlocking how rapidly the glacier might disappear. To behave accordingly — like put up sea walls or move out of low-lying areas — policymakers need to know how much and how fast the waterline will encroach. “This is going to challenge our logistics and science effort in … Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news. As part of the international Thwaites mission, Schmidt and her team navigated a robot submarine down to the grounding line to get a detailed understanding of the ice shape and conditions, as this is where the most important melting action is happening. Getting answers to these critical questions about Thwaites is driving a multiyear, international research expedition. If you were to dive into the water beneath the protruding, visible ice and swim downward, you’d eventually see that Thwaites makes contact with rock. A look at maps of the region's ice loss makes this clear, says Nick Holschuh, a geologist at Amherst College. • Log In, Disintegration of Marine Ice-sheets Using Novel Optimised Simulations (DOMINOS), Processes, drivers, Prediction: modeling the History and Evolution of Thwaites (PROPHET), Thwaites-Amundsen Regional Survey and Network Integrating Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean Processes (TARSAN), Deep channels link ocean to Antarctic glacier, Plans for International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration in response to COVID-19, New Sights in the Second Field Season of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. It's a giant mass of more than 192,000 square kilometers (74,000 square miles) -- … Which makes me optimistic that we're going to learn a lot.”. A scientific expedition to Thwaites glacier aims to provide vital information about the dangers of melting Antarctic ice Tue 7 Jan 2020 13.32 EST Last modified on … Thwaites Glacier could be "a keystone to triggering ice loss from neighboring portions of West Antarctica," said Paul Cutler, program director of glaciology, ice … Not by a long shot. Why Scientists Are So Worried About Antarctica's Doomsday Glacier. If Thwaites melts away, that much-larger ice block will add water to our oceans as well, further driving up sea level rise. It's swiftly melting, and a collapse could cause a dramatic increase in sea level rise. “The water will flow in, the ice will thin rapidly, and then the whole thing that's been stable and sitting on a continent for thousands of years will go away.”. Thwaites Glacier, also known as the "doomsday glacier", is reported to be melting quicker than previously thought - scientists are now trying to find out why. The Florida-sized glacier extends deep into the heart of the Antarctica ice sheet. Located along the coast of the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica, the enormous Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers already contribute around 5 … Learn more about the eight projects that are part of ITGC, © 2020 CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder. Is Rainwater Safe to Drink? Britney Schmidt, a geophysicist at Georgia Tech, has, in a way, dove down to give the junction a close look. Runoff Collected by Volunteers Offers Clues. Thwaites Glacier is one of Antarctica’s largest contributors to sea level rise from Antarctica. Thwaites Glacier today is rapidly losing mass in response to changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions. Robel, along with scientists Helene Seroussi and Gerard Roe used mathematical analysis and computer models to make projections of sea levels in the future. “The more this marine ice sheet instability occurs, the wider the range of possible future sea level rise becomes,” Robel says. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition. Super Typhoon Goni Churns Toward the Philippines as the Globe's Strongest Storm of 2020, "Insanely Warm" Arctic Ocean Waters Are Delaying Freeze-Up and Pouring Heat Into the Atmosphere. Glaciers everywhere might be melting, but only one has earned the most terrifying nickname: the Doomsday Glacier. Learn more about the mission. UK and US scientists are collaborating to investigate one of the most unstable glaciers in Antarctica, the Thwaites Glacier, roughly the same size as Florida or Britain. 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