Home / Science / The Antarctic Thwaites Glacier could be unstable and scientists are making sure

The Antarctic Thwaites Glacier could be unstable and scientists are making sure

The Antarctic Thwaites Glacier is featured in this undated handout photo from NASA.

(AP Photo / NASA)

  • Eight research teams will participate in a five-year project to explore an Antarctic glacier rapid retreat.
  • If it does happen, the collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would cause a dramatic sea-level rise.
  • The researchers hope to find out how dire the situation is and what additional effects this collapse would have [19659006] Scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom have announced a comprehensive five-year study aimed at finding out how stable an important one is Antarctic glacier is really – or not.

You will focus on the Thwaites Glacier West side of the Antarctic. It has recently lost a massive amount of ice – enough to contribute about 4 percent of total sea-level rise – and a complete collapse of the Florida glacier would increase sea levels by up to 3 feet according to Public Radio International

The new study will be an attempt to learn more about the glacier in the hope that it will lead to better modeling and a more detailed projection of what might happen in the future.

"Really, the whole program is about understanding that additional sea level uncertainty grows and does what we can to remove it, protect people from their coastal environment, and prepare property to protect their populations," David Vaughan, director of science at the British Antarctic Survey, (19659008) (MORE: This scene in Glacier National Park is a must )

One reason we know relatively little about Thwaites , is that few researchers have worked on it Ex After the first trip in the 1950s, he was also in the West Antarctic on the way to learn, as it is called in the West Antarctic. The glacier is about 1000 miles from the nearest research station, and the weather conditions are not friendly to those venturing into the region, the report added.

But this time, eight research teams will be teaming up for the project, and they plan to study everything from the bedrock to the climate over the ice sheet, hoping to find out as much as possible about the glacier, PRI added. They want to know the history of this ice sheet so they can understand how it has behaved in the past, and whether there is hope to save it during the rapid reactivation that is taking place.

"There's one more question in my view whether Thwaites actually made an irreversible retreat ," Vaughan told BBC.com. "It is anticipated that the melting rates we see today are going to the future, and that is not guaranteed – Thwaites is clearly facing an irreversible retreat, but to be on the safe side, we need 10 years more data."

About 100 scientists will be sent to BBC.com in West Antarctica as part of the study. It will be the largest collaboration between US and UK scientists in Antarctica in at least 70 years, the report added.

The study will cost about $ 27.5 million according to Newser.

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