Thwaites Glacier is also sometimes referred as the Doomsday Glacier. The Glacier is a huge, broad and vast glacier in the cold Antarctica. The glacial surface, near its grounding line, has speeds exceeding 2 kilometres per year. It is the fastest flowing grounded ice is centred between 50 and 100 kilometres in the east of Mount Murphy.
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History of Thwaites Glacier
The Glacier was named in 1967 by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names. It was named after Fredrik T. Thwaites (1883–1961). He was a well known glacial geologist, geomorphologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Important of the Thwaites Glacier or Doomsday Glacier ?
The Glacier flowing in the west of the Antarctic, is huge. It is almost as big as Great Britain. The Glacier has a majestic sight. Its floating front, or ice shelf pushes far out towards the sea. It frequently dumps off huge icebergs. Satellite monitoring has shown that the glacier is melting at an alarming rate.
It was reported in the1990s that the Glacier was losing more than 10 billion tonnes of ice each year. Today, the Glacier is losing over 80 billion tonnes of ice every year. The main cause behind this melting is an influx of relatively warm bottom-water from the wider ocean. The researchers have concluded that if this influx continues the Glacier will lose a huge amount of its mass.
Currently, the massive Thwaites’ ice loss contributes approximately 4% to rise in global sea-levels annually. If the Glacier was to collapse completely, it would increase 65 cm of water level in the seas.
Researchers believe it will happen in the long term. Thwaites is potentially vulnerable due to global warming. Currently, the scientists are trying to precisely know how fast changes might occur in the Glaciers.
Why is Thwaites Glacier on the verge of collapsing?
This Antarctic Thwaites Glacier, “Doomsday Glacier ” is currently melting at an alarming rate. Every year it is dumping billions of tonnes of ice in the ocean and has been pushing up global sea-levels at a fast rate.
Currently, a UK-US team is surveying the deep seafloor route in front of the glacier. The surveyors are certain that this water channel brings warm water. The warm water is attacking the glacier and melting Thwaites’ underside. The researchers will use this information to predict the grim future of glacial streams.
These channels had not been mapped before in this kind of detail, and what we’ve discovered is that they’re actually much bigger than anyone thought – up to 600m deep. Think of six football pitches back to back,” said Dr Kelly Hogan from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
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