A giant two-thirds cavity in the Manhattan area and nearly 300 meters high has been found at the bottom of the Thwaites Glacier in the Antarctic.
Regarding the size of Florida, the glacier is responsible for about 4 percent of the global sea level rise.
It has enough ice to raise the oceans of the world a little more than 65 cm and the backstops of neighboring glaciers that would increase sea levels by an additional 2.4 meters if all the ice was lost, according to Daily Mail.
The huge cave had 14,000 million tons of ice. But, in the course of only three years, it has melted and flowed into the Southern Ocean.
According to a study by NASA, the vacuum was caused by "fingers" recently discovered from warm water that flowed into cracks in the glacier caused by mounting climate change. This water was grouped between ice and rock, eroding the glacier above.
"As more heat and water go down the glacier, it melts faster," said the lead author of the study and NASA scientist, Pietro Milillo.
And underground ice erosion has disturbing consequences.
Not only is there more ice melt than previously detected and shows the 160 km wide Thwaites glacier that is not so fixed on the surface of the Antarctic continent as it was believed to be.
This means that the ice mass, over the size of Florida, can break and enter the sea, much faster than it was projected.
Even worse, the Thwaites Glacier acts as a kind of "door stop", which prevents contiguous glaciers from gliding towards the sea.
A recent study warned that the Antarctic "doomsday" glacier could sink in decades.
"Understanding the details about how the ocean undoes this glacier is essential to project its impact on sea level rise over the next decades," says NASA scientist Eric Rignot.
The vacuum was found by ice penetrating radar and a series of satellites, all of which try to understand what happens in Antarctica when the world is heated.
The potential impact is huge.
Unlike most of the North Pole, an enormous amount of dust from the South Pole is found on the ground.
Ice that feeds on water does not affect sea levels when melted.
But the new water that flows to the sea does.
And the Antarctic is a huge continent covered with ice.
The Thwaites glacier only has enough ice above sea level to increase sea levels by more than 65 cm if it is going to melt.
Once removed, the glaciers that surround you will not have any obstacle in your way, accelerating your smelting and potential water release to raise sea levels up to 2.4 m .
"We have suspected for years that Thwaites was not well attached to the bottom rock," Rignot, a study author, said in a statement from NASA. "Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the details."
Since the loss of these glaciers could cause the flooding of major cities, such as New York, the new research teams get ready to travel to it, one of the most difficult areas to reach the Earth.
The National Science Foundation of the United States and the British National Environmental Research Council have initiated a five-year field project, The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. Start your field observations later this year.
THWAITES THE GLASSER'S RETIREMENT
The Thwaites glacier is slightly smaller than the total size of the United Kingdom, approximately the same size as the state of Washington, and is located in the sea of Amundsen.
It has up to 4000 meters and is considered key to projections of rise of the world level of the sea.
The glacier retires in front of the hot ocean and is believed to be unstable because its interior is more than two kilometers below sea level while on the coast the bottom of the glacier is quite shallow.
The Thwaites glacier has experienced an important flow acceleration since the seventies.
From 1992 to 2011, the center of the Thwaites land line retired almost 14 kilometers.
The annual freezing of ice in this region has increased 77% since 1973.
Since its interior connects to the large portion of the western Antarctic ice sheet that is deep below the sea level, the glacier is considered to be a gateway to most of the potential contribution from the sea level to the west of Antarctica.
The sinking of the Thwaites Glacier would cause an increase in global sea level between one and two meters, with the potential of more than double that of the ice cap of the Western Antarctic.