News By/Courtesy: Saniya Akhtar | 04 Feb 2019 10:25am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A huge cavity about 300 metres tall was discovered in the Antarctic Glacier, Thwaites, by ice-penetrating radar in NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge, a campaign that began in 2010.
  • The size suggests that it must have contained 14 billion tons of ice.
  • The fact that most of that ice melted during the last 3 years is disturbing and reveals the devastating effects of increasing global warming and climate change.

A huge cavity about 300 metres tall was discovered in the Antarctic Glacier, Thwaites, by ice-penetrating radar in NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge, a campaign that began in 2010 and studies connections between the polar regions and global climate. Eric Rignot of the University of California, who is also associated with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said, “We have suspected for years that Thwaites was not tightly attached to the bedrock beneath it.” He also stated that owing to the new generation of satellites, they could finally see the details. The size and growth rate of the cavity has surprised the researchers. The size suggests that it must have contained 14 billion tons of ice. The fact that most of that ice melted during the last 3 years is disturbing and reveals the devastating effects of increasing global warming and climate change. The study’s lead author, Pietro Milillo said, “The size of a cavity under a glacier plays an important role in melting. As more heat and water get under the glacier, it melts faster.” A striking 4 percent of global sea level rise is a result of Thwaites Glacier. If this melting continues and all the ice melts, the world ocean level would be raised to a little over two feet.

Section Editor: Priyanshu Gupta | 06 Feb 2019 18:24pm IST


Tags : #Science & Techonology#Antarctic Glacier

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