The finding alerted the scientific community. A giant left, which covers two thirds of the Manhattan area and it has an altitude of almost 300 meters, It is growing at the bottom of the Thwaites glacier, Which is the size of Florida and is located in the Western Antarctic.
Scientists knew that there was space between the ice and rock bottom of the glacier. They are cavities through which water can flow, which over time can lead to the block of ice melting from below.
But the size and growth rate of the left left them perplexed. The magnitude could have allowed you to contain 14 billion tons of iceAnd almost everything was melted in the last three years, according to a NASA report, released by the Reaction Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
"We have suspected that the Thwaites was not very attached to the rock bed under him"Eric Rignot, from the University of California, Irvine, and from JPL in Pasadena said. Rignot is co-author of the new study, which was published on January 30 a Science Advances. "Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the details," he said.
"The size of a cavity under a glacier plays an important role in the merger," said the main author of the study, Pietro Milillo, also from the JPL. "As more heat and water penetrate the glacier, it melts faster".
The Thwaites glacier is responsible for approximately 4% of the sea level rise in the world. It has enough ice to raise the level of the oceans to little more than 65 centimeters. But there is one thing worse: as it contains the neighboring glaciers, if they collapse, the sea level would rise by 2.4 meters.
Another study, published months ago in Nature, reveal that the glacial casket (the frozen mass that covers the continental surface) It has lost 3 trillion tonnes since 1992. Every year millions of tons of ice melt, which are now in the oceans, now 7.6 millimeters tall, with the aggravation that the smelter rate has tripled in the last five years.
From 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost almost 84,000 million tons of ice per year; But From 2012 to 2017, the figure rose to 241,000 million tonnes per year. "We can see the grave, which is happening in the Western Antarctic," said Andrew Shepherd, a professor at the University of Leeds and director of the work, at Wired. This location, he added, reveals the reason for the phenomenon: "We know that the ocean in the West Antarctica is too hot".
"It's too much for it to withstand the gelAnd that's how it melts and causes sea level rise, he continued. It reveals to us that the glacial cap is not impermeable to the effect of climate change as we once thought we would be. And this is an alert call ".
According to this work, in case the grave follows this step It would be necessary to add about 15 centimeters more to the estimated height of the sea level rise. For example, this would say about 25 centimeters by 2070, with a disastrous impact on coastal cities and the displacement and feeding of people.