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THIS ARTICLES ON THE THWAITES GLACIER in West Antarctica is based on the article “If Thwaites Glacier collapses, it would change global coastlines forever” by Carolyn Beeler for The World website. The sub-headline for this piece reads, “Scientists fear the collapse of Thwaites Glacier could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea-level rise.” The article continues:
“Days after the Nathaniel B. Palmer became the first ship to sail across the 75-mile face of West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier, a piece of its floating ice shelf bigger than Manhattan crumbled off the glacier into a flotilla of icebergs. Scientists aboard noticed something had changed when the research vessel tried to navigate to a spot in front of the Florida-sized glacier and was blocked by ice-choked seas.
‘What we didn’t realize at the time is the ice [front] was coming out to chase us out,’ said Rob Larter, a marine geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey and chief scientist on the ship. ‘The entire embayment where we’d been working for several days was littered with icebergs.’
Satellite images soon showed where these icebergs were coming from. A roughly 20-mile stretch of Thwaites had fractured into mile-long icebergs that were now being blown out into the bay in front of Thwaites.
‘It was quite remarkable,’ Larter said of the satellite images. ‘Suddenly, it was making sense with what we were seeing out of the windows.’
Thwaites Glacier is melting fast, and scientists fear its collapse could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea-level rise.”
To read the original article above in its entirety, click HERE.
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of the Thwaites Glacier (aka “Doomsday Glacier”). The front face rises as much as 75 feet above water in the areas where it is most intact. Roughly 90% of an ice sheet typically sits below the waterline. (Photo: Carolyn Beeler/The World)