Science

Robotic submarine snaps first-ever images at foundation of notorious Antarctic glacier !

Robotic submarine snaps first-ever images at foundation of notorious Antarctic glacier !”

According to scientists, the melting of the Thwaites glacier alone could also have devastating effects globally.

As per the scientists, the glacier is melting at an increasingly fast rate and the Georgia Tech reported that it has already accounted for about four percent of global sea-level rise, which is very unsafe for the coastal regions.

Using a robotic submarine, researchers have taken the very first photos of the foundations of the Antarctic Thwaites Glacier, a step towards better monitoring of the ice sheet, which is notorious for its contributions to rising sea levels.

The water mass is located right in the glacier's grounding zone, an area where the ice "transfers" from the rocky substratum and begins to float over the ocean as an ice shelf.

Researchers dug a hole of almost 2,000 feet deep in the ice in Thwaites glacier at the grounding line, where the ice meets the ocean.

Under this project, Icefin traveled around 15 km during five expeditions.

Scientists working in Antarctica have recently made a peculiar discovery in the vicinity of the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica.

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The area which concerns under the sea level, which is being visited, is called the grounding line, and it is important to the stability of Thwaites Glacier's footing.

"We know that warmer ocean waters are eroding many of West Antarctica's glaciers, but we're particularly concerned about Thwaites", said Keith Nicholls, UK lead on the science team and an oceanographer with the British Antarctic Survey.

Brittany Schmidt, researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology and part of the project, says, "Checking the grounding line is important for such tasks, because we can measure it correctly".

"It's the first time anyone has done that or has ever even seen the grounding zone of a major glacier under the water, and that's the place where the greatest degree of melting and destabilisation can occur", Schmidt said.

Scientists refer to Thwaites as the "doomsday glacier" due to the dire implications its rapid melting could have for the planet.

Dr Britney Schmidt, a glaciologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said: 'We saw fantastic ice interactions driven by sediments at the [grounding] line and from the rapid melting from warm ocean water'. "This new data will provide a new perspective of the processes taking place, so we can predict future change with more certainty". It may be noted that the Thwaites Glacier has lost 600bn tonnes of ice over the past several decades, accelerating to as many as 50bn tonnes per year in recent years. Though a 10-ft sea-level rise would likely take years, the melting of the glacier could eventually mean the USA would lose 28,800sq miles of coastal land - pushing 12.3mn people now living in those areas out of their homes.



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