According to the latest scientific expeditions conducted on the southernmost continent and through the concerted efforts made by our brightest scientists, it is reported that the drastic melting of the Doomsday Glacier could raise sea levels by a few centimetres, endangering the lives of the global community living in the coastal regions.
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Latest studies and accounts
Recent studies about the severe thawing of Thwaites Glacier, also dubbed as “Doomsday Glacier” by Dr. Ben Galton Frenzy, a renowned glaciologist, on the Western continental shelf of Antarctica, have brought a major concern to our doorsteps. “Polar continent’s Doomsday Glacier”, dubbed because its thawing could trigger disastrous sea level rise.
The Thwaite’s Glacier, also known to be the “Doomsday Glacier”, is equivalently the size of Florida and is located in West Antarctica. Part of what holds it together is a continental ice shelf that is falling out onto the surface of the ocean. The shelf acts like a cork, holding the glacier back on the land and providing an important defence against sea level rise.
But the vulnerable ice shelf is collapsing at a colossal rate as the ocean gets warm consistently due to the severe effects of global warming and irregularities in the ocean currents.
The massive rate of melting of the Glacier could not only destabilize the Neighbouring Glacier but also increase the mean sea levels considerably, leaving a catastrophic effect on the lives and properties of the people living in the coastal deltaic regions of the earth. Scientists and researchers are pouring over the relevant data to emphasize the urgency of the probable disastrous impact on geological events.
Usage of technology
The British Antarctic Agency and The US Antarctic program deployed sensors and an underwater robot “Icefin” beneath the vast Thwaites Glacier to survey the melting rate.
ICEFIN is a torpedo-like robot , which makes areas previously almost impossible to survey, accessible. The remotely-operated vehicle took pictures and recorded information about the temperature change and the salt content of the water, as well as ocean currents.
“The bot was able to swim up to these really inaccessible places and collect data from the sea floor all the way to the ice shelf “. Britney Schmidt, an associate professor at Cornell University and a lead author on one of the papers, told the media.
The outcomes of the research reveal “a very tragic and complex picture,” Peter Davis, an oceanographer at the British Antarctic Survey and a lead author on the other paper, reported. The scientists found even though the glacier is receding, the rate of melting beneath much of the flat part of the ice shelf was higher than expected. The melt rate averaged 2 to 5.4 meters a year, according to the study, more accurate than the previous models had portrayed. Melting is being suppressed by a layer of freezing water at the base of the glacier, between the ice shelf and the ocean, according to the research.
The report is nothing less than an eye opener as it picturises the severe consequences of human activities. It is a major concern as it can substantially raise the global sea levels, changing the entire oceanographic composition. A consistent dependency on non-renewable and pollutive fuels has led to such grave concern. A sincere shift to green, renewable and eco-friendly fuels and resources is the need of the hour.