What will happen when the so-called ‘Doomsday Glacier’ breaks?

As many climate change activists are saying recently, the “doomsday” that refers to the “Doomsday Glacier” – the name given to the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica – could be coming soon. But what will that day be like?

As we have seen in a shocking new paper in the magazine Nature Geoscience and a team led by oceanographer Alastair GC Graham, the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica may be closer to a major melting event than previously thought.

Here’s what’s new in our understanding of the matter: The new study involved examining seafloor ridges. These rib-like formations show strong evidence of where the ice was for hundreds of years as the tides moved it every day. This is in contrast to previous data collected about the glacier, which was drawn on satellite maps of the ice as it progressed to full (or near full) collapse into the ocean,

Using this new method of measuring the glacier’s “footprint” if you will, we now know that the sudden melting occurred in six months over the past 200 years. In that short period of time, the sea ice retreated twice as much as satellite images could detect. This means that, in addition to the constant loss of many scientists who already know, there are also rare, and dangerous, waves that can break quickly.

“Thwaites is still working today with his claws, and we should expect to see big changes in the small parts in the future,” said astronomer Robert Larter, one of the study’s co-authors. he said while talking to the media.

So the end of this glacier seems to be almost over, and the results of the end are no joke. According to a 2020 estimate from the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, four percent of the sea level rise caused by climate change so far is from Thwaites alone, and a sudden collapse could raise sea levels by 25 inches.

“Scientists want to know how quickly this can happen,” the Collaboration’s communications manager, Athena Dinar, wrote in a statement.

How fast is Thwaites Glacier melting?

The question of how quickly Thwaites is deteriorating is a very important one. A sudden break in water will see an incredible amount of fresh water thrown into the sea, and it’s hard not to imagine that the water is rising at the same time, just like when you jump into a large glass.

And perhaps a sudden flash flood could happen, but the evidence available from this new study suggests even a “doomsday” event that lasts six months. This is dangerous, and similar changes in the flow of sea water have a long history, but thankfully, compared to all events at the same time, six months is enough time for people living in low-lying, coastal areas. he should leave.

See sea level rise for yourself

You can see for yourself what the fall of Thwaites Glacier would look like thanks to the Sea Level Rise Viewer, an online program developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This also maps each US coast to show each level of sea level rise (in 12 increments).

For example, it would destroy southern Louisiana and Mississippi. In New York, however, Manhattan just flooded — even flooding in low-lying areas like Hudson Yards. The city I live in, Los Angeles, cannot be saved, except for the area around Venice Beach.

A scary name can hide a serious problem

None of this is intended to minimize the dangers of sea level rise, but it is worth noting that scientists have expressed their doubts about the apocalyptic significance of Thwaites, especially in an article by Jackson Ryan of CNET. “On the one hand, it’s waking up, aka consider these things,” NASA earth scientist Eric Rignot told Ryan.

As Ryan points out in the article, the “Doomsday Glacier” moniker “could do more harm than good,” since there are other, larger glacier formations to worry about. And as Ryan says, “One of the main reasons scientists struggle with this term is that it suggests we’re already extinct.”

The word “Doom” is a tricky word to use in this context, because, as the sixth report of the IPCC said, good climate policies can lead to climate benefits many years after they start working – maybe 30 years down the road, according to the title. 4 of the report. So we are no However, there is nothing we can do now that will benefit today’s youth until they reach old age.

This means that if the so-called “Doomsday Glacier” clings to the thread, it may be too late for it to melt.

So to repeat: Thwaites has to touch on the most important point that scientists fear, and is completely divided. If and when it does, the consequences may be dire, but they will not be abusive.

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