The front face of Thwaites glacier rises an estimated 60 to 75 feet above water in the areas where it is most intact. Livable Planet. LIVE UPDATES. Thwaites glacier in Antarctica might be past the point of no return. Days after the Nathaniel B. Palmer became the first ship to sail across the 75-mile face of West Antarcticaâs Thwaites Glacier, a piece of its floating ice shelf bigger than Manhattan crumbled off the glacier into a flotilla of icebergs. This is the last in a series of deep dives into the science and people of the Nathaniel B. Palmerâs 2019 voyage to Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. Boston, of course, is not alone, nor is it the most vulnerable. Once gone, surrounding glaciers will have no obstacle in their path, speeding up their melting and the potential release of enough water to raise sea levels by as much as 2.4m. Experts estimate that its complete collapse would aggravate the phenomenon adding 65 centimeters to the oceanic water. This winterâs expedition aboard the Palmer marked the first field season of a five-year, international research collaboration to discover just how much, and how fast, Thwaites Glacier might add to rising seas. Thwaites Glacier is an important area of study for scientists as it is particularly susceptible to climate and ocean changes. And it is about to get much, much busier. These updates are associated with reports from the research, found at our Snow on Ice page. Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica, is of particular concern to scientists. But even the city government isnât sure that level of protection is possible. Roughly 90% of an ice sheet typically sits below the water line. âWe could be observing it right now and not really realize that itâs happening, and thatâs pretty scary to think about.â. Scientists aboard noticed something had changed when the research vessel tried to navigate to a spot in front of the Florida-sized glacier and was blocked by ice-choked seas. Une vaste cavité sous le glacier Thwaites en Antarctique Ouest a été repérée par la NASA.Mesurant 10 km de long, 4 km de large et 300 m de hauteur, cette cavité s’est ouverte à la base du glacier entre 2011 et 2016, séparant la glace du socle rocheux ouvrant la voie aux eaux chaudes provenant de l’océan et en le faisant fondre par en-dessous. It has been a busy autumn (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) for the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC). Satellite images of the western portion of the Thwaites ice front on March 2, 2019, and on March 6, 2019, after a large section of what had previously been called âice shelfâ crumbled into a flotilla of icebergs. Before we get into it, let’s do a quick bit of background. A new expedition hopes to change that. Scientists recently discovered that warm undercurrents could be eating away its underbelly. But it is a sign of the glacierâs instability. I don't think anyone can, hand on heart, say which of those it is yet. Thwaites is a marine-terminating glacier. Thwaites Glacier is 120 km wide, fast-moving glacier located in Antarctica. At 11 feet, much of the city would be underwater without massive, new infrastructure projects to protect it. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number NSF-PLR 1738913, and reviewed by NSF. Journey to Antarctica: How We’ll See Deep Beneath the Ice, Antarctica Dispatch 1: Gearing up and shipping out, Snow on Ice: The little orange submarine #3, Journey to Antarctica: Jeff Goodell Begins His Trip to Thwaites Glacier, Seals to act as sentinels of remote Antarctic glacier, Laying the Groundwork for Some Major Antarctic Field Campaigns, THOR blog - Cruise offshore of Thwaites Glacier, Airlift and overland traverse stage fuel, science gear in West Antarctica, Essential cargo delivered for science on Thwaites Glacier, Ambitious UK-US Antarctic research mission begins, Instrument Highlight: Phase-sensitive radar (ApRES), Filchner Ice Shelf, UK and US join forces to understand how quickly a massive Antarctic glacier could collapse. Thwaites Glacier doomed? Environment. 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