After Larsen C's firing, scientists focused their work on Thwaites, one of the toughest places on Earth but which will be more familiar than ever.
In 2010, NASA launched Operation IceBridge, a campaign to study the links between polar regions and the global climate, thus measuring the impact of climate change. By that time, Thwaites was one of the toughest places on earth, but the recently released US space agency report will be better known than ever.
Document, published on Wednesday, January 30th in Journal of Progress in Science, shows that researchers are paying special attention to the gigantic cavity – two-thirds of Manhattan and about 300 meters – growing at the bottom of Thwaites, located in the western West Antarctic zone.
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Conclusions of the researchers point to the need for deeper observation of the lower part of the Antarctic glaciers to calculate how global levels of sea need to increase as a result of climate change.
Initially, the team was expecting to find the bottom of the Thwaites, between the ice and the rocks, allowing the ocean water to flow from below.
However, the size and explosive growth rate of the new holes surprised them, since it is large enough to contain 14 billion tons of iceEspecially because most of the ice has been dying in the last three years.
In this regard, the academician from the University of California, Irvine and NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Eric Rignot, said that "for years we suspect Thwaites is not well connected to rocks and now, thanks to the new generation of satellites see the details. "
The researcher added that the detected cavity was discovered by the ice breaker in the IceBridge operation, with data obtained from the constellation of the synthetic radar apertures of the Italian and German aircraft.
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"This data of very high resolution can be treated by a technique known as radar interferometry to reveal how the surface beneath the earth moves between images, "he said.
It is worth mentioning that the Thwaites glacier is currently responsible for approximately 4 percent of the sea level rise in the world and that if this occurs completely, a total fracture and loss of the whole ice will increase that level. between 65 and 80 centimeters.
Because of the real risk that exists is yes National Foundation The United States and the National Environmental Research Council in the United Kingdom have decided to launch a five-year field project to measure long-term ice loss.
The problem is that there is currently no way to monitor the ice levels in Antarctica from the ground level, so they have to use the data from air or satellite instruments to spot the changing characteristics of the glacier melt.
Another piece of evidence that the scientists are following is the connection to the ground of the glacier, which is nothing more than a place near the edge of the continent where it rises from the basin and begins to float in the sea water.
Many Antarctic ice creams stretch for miles out of its land lines, floating over the open ocean and when that happens, the landline pulls inward, exposing the bottom of the seawater glacier, which increases the likelihood that speed fusion will accelerate.