March 26, 2023

The latest studies on the “Doomsday Glacier” worry scientists

The 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP 27) took place from 6 to 18 November 2022. In all editions of the conference, actions to reduce global pollution and reverse global warming were discussed.

The latter is a global event, which annually increases the average temperature of the planet. In this way, it generates many environmental disasters that threaten the survival of the human race.

One of the effects of global warming is the melting of the polar ice caps, which causes sea levels to rise dramatically, endangering thousands of lives on the world’s coasts.

Rising sea levels can lead to the disappearance of many islands, and also poses a great danger to coastal cities, which, like islands, can completely disappear from the map.

Even if it seems an exaggeration to think that islands and cities will suffer from floods, this is a reality and a concern for many scientists. Mainly from those who study the glacier Thwaitesknown by many as the “Doomsday Glacier”.

The case of “Doomsday Glacier”

For those unfamiliar, Thwaites Glacier is located in West Antarctica and is about the size of the state of Sao Paulo. For many years, scientists have monitored the progress of the glacier’s melt, given the destructive potential that its melting could cause.

According to the most recent data available in two surveys in the Virtual Journal natureThe glacier alone is now responsible for 4% of the annual rise in sea level. If it separated completely from Antarctica, it would increase sea ‚Äč‚Äčlevel in 64 cm.

Even if it seems a little, remember that this means more than half a meter of water, which is enough to flood many islands around the world, as well as many coastal cities.

According to research on the glacier, melting is between 2m and 5m per year, which has been shown to be less than in recent decades, possibly due to efforts by the United Nations (UN) to slow global warming. ..

Although the melting is a little delayed, it has not stopped and is happening at the brittle points of the glacier, which could lead to separation.

As noted by Professor Brittney Schmidt, one of the authors of the research:

These new ways of looking at a glacier allow us to understand that it’s not just how much melting is happening, but how and where it’s happening.

We see crevasses, possibly terraces, in warming glaciers like Thwaites. Warm water seeps into the cracks, helping to erode the glacier at its weakest points.”