Explained: Lessons from a melting Antarctic glacier

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News: A New York University study reported water at just two degrees above freezing point at Thwaites’s “grounding zone” or “grounding line”

Facts:

About Thwaites Glacier

  • Thwaites Glacier is located in western Antarctica and flows into Pine Island Bay, a part of the Amundsen Sea
  • According to NASA, the Thwaites Glacier is currently responsible for approximately 4% of global sea level rise. It holds enough ice to raise the world ocean by more than 2 feet.
  • It is estimated that it would collapse into the sea in 200-900 years. It is often called the Doomsday Glacier because of the risk it faces and poses.
  • A 2019 NASA-led study had discovered a giant cavity growing at the bottom of the Thwaites Glacier

Additional Information:

Grounding Line

  • The grounding line is the place below a glacier at which the ice transitions from grounded ice sheet to freely floating ice shelf on the ocean.
  • The location of the line is a pointer to the rate of retreat of a glacier.