It’s basic science. The mass of a stone or solid when dipped into the water will make the water rise beyond the level it was before. Now imagine ice the size of Florida in the sea. What happens is that the sea level rises; now imagine it collapsing; it will fill up the seafloor and will potentially cause the sea level to flow beyond the bank. This is not a tale; it is real.
This week, scientists announced a fracture in a massive Antarctic ice sheet. They believe that the collapse will cause a global sea-level rise of about 2 feet. This may be bad news for coastal areas. This being together is what has been preventing what is called Doomsday Glacier.
The major collapse will likely take place in another 3-5 years; sea rise will likely happen in years and decades that follow. There may be time to prepare. This collapse might be connected with global warming. So if the efforts to check global warming are in place, then this incident might be averted.
What is Doomsday Glacier?
The Doomsday Glacier’s formally known as Thwaites Glacier is the widest giant sheet of ice on the planet. About the size of Florida; located at the western edge of Antarctica and the Amundsen Sea to its West. It sheds about 50 billion of ice every year, contributing about 4% to global sea-level rise yearly.
If it happens; it might be a doomsday indeed because most places in Thai capital Bangkok will be swamped, as well as New Orleans. Flooding will happen in places like New York City. There will be a sea-level rise of about 2 feet.
What Caused the Doomsday Glacier?
Ice freezes and melts under certain atmospheric temperatures. It is basic science. The place is getting hot? Then coldness will gradually disappear which was why fireplaces and heaters are installed in homes. Can we say heat has Thwaites Glacier? Yes.
According to the United Nations, “climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil, and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases.”
Earlier this year, researchers demonstrated that the Thwaites’ eastern ice sheet is becoming unstuck from its mountaintop brace. Also, satellite images were taken over the past two years, including as recently as November, have shown the appearance of rapidly lengthening large fractures in the portion of the eastern glacier that is sitting atop seawater.
The Main Cause of Alarm
These cracks are the sudden cause of alarm. Scientists have seen hints that the eastern portion of the glacier might be unstable but have been surprised to see the speed at which these fractures are advancing.
For the already floating portion of the Thwaites glacier, there is no problem. The real concern is that the floating ice is currently holding back a large portion of the Thwaites Glacier that sits on land. With the waterborne portion of the glacier breaking up, scientists estimate that the landlocked ice will begin to flow three times faster than it currently is.
It will also be in greater contact with the relatively warm waters of the Amundsen Sea, accelerating melting. It is this scenario that is likely to massively contribute to rising sea levels.