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“doomsday glacier” could make millions of Americans homeless

THIS IS THE SECOND OF TWO ARTICLES ad­dressing the Thwaites glacier in West Antarc­tica. It is based on the ar­ticle “Re­ally, Re­ally Bad: Sci­en­tists Raise Alarm Over Warm Ocean Water Be­neath Doomsday Glacier in Antarc­tica” by Julia Conley for the Common Dreams web­site. The sub-headline for this piece reads, “Warm wa­ters in this part of the world, as re­mote as they may seem, should serve as a warning to all of us about the po­ten­tial dire changes to the planet brought about by cli­mate change.” The ar­ticle con­tinues:

“Re­searchers at New York Uni­ver­sity and the British Antarctic Survey drilled through nearly 2,000 feet of ice in the Thwaites Glacier to mea­sure tem­per­a­tures at the 75-mile wide ice sheet’s grounding line, where the ice meets the ocean. The water just be­neath the ice was found to be 32º Fahrenheit—more than 2º above freezing tem­per­a­ture in the Antarctic re­gion.

Sci­en­tists refer to Thwaites as the ‘doomsday glacier’ due to the dire im­pli­ca­tions its rapid melting could have for the planet. The melting of the glacier could even­tu­ally mean the U.S. would lose 28,800 square miles of coastal land, pushing 12.3 mil­lion people cur­rently living in those areas out of their homes.

The Thwaites Glacier has lost 600 bil­lion tons of ice over the past sev­eral decades, ac­cel­er­ating to as many as 50 bil­lion tons per year in re­cent years. Ac­cording to NYU sci­en­tist David Hol­land, ‘Warm wa­ters in this part of the world, as re­mote as they may seem, should serve as a warning to all of us about the po­ten­tial dire changes to the planet brought about by cli­mate change.’ ”

To read the orig­inal ar­ticle above in its en­tirety, click HERE.

To read the other ar­ticle on the Thwaites Glacier, click HERE.

 

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FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of the Thwaites Glacier, which is cur­rently re­spon­sible for about 1% of global sea-level rise. (Photo: Stuart Rankin/Flickr) “Snow is white be­cause it is chock full of air bub­bles. Snow re­flects back the full spec­trum of white light. When glacial ice first freezes, it is filled with air bub­bles. As that ice gets buried and squashed un­der­neath younger ice on top, the older ice starts to take on a blue tinge. Antarc­tica is the only place on Earth with these in­cred­ible stretches of blue ice.” (Live Sci­ence)

 

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