In Antarctica, found a glacier, on which depends the fate of humanity

In Antarctica, found a glacier, on which depends the fate of humanity

Actually, the research shows the rate of ice loss from five Antarctic glaciers had doubled in six years and was five times faster than in the 1990s.

A glacier in Antarctica is approaching the "tipping point" that would lead to an catastrophic global sea level rise, a study has said.

The situation is so bad that it could happen even under present-day ice-melting rates. Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier is the at the forefront of the dire warning as it slowly crumbles away into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is heading towards an "instability" which once crossed means it could all float out into the sea within 150 years, according to the study.

In the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists have stated that the glacier represents a significant hazard to the future of the sea-level rise and this threat will continue to advance at a point of no return.

She explained as the underlying bedrock becomes deeper, undercutting seawater exerts more lift on the glacier - accelerating its flow into the sea.

"It will keep going by itself and that's the worry", he said.

The Thwaites Glacier is seen above.

In the case of the Thwaites Glacier, Seroussi said that it could lose all of its ice in a period of 150 years after reaching the tipping point. That ice loss is a part of a broader trend: The complete Antarctic ice sheet is melting nearly 6 times as fast as it did 40 years in the past. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sea levels 'continue to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch per year'.

Alex Robel, another study author, added that if the glacier were to cross that Rubicon, nothing could stop the ice melt - even if Earth's temperatures stopped rising.

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Current sea level rise is about 20cm above pre-global warming levels, and has been blamed for increased coastal flooding.

But as ocean temperatures increase, warmer water at the base of these ice sheets is leading them to melt from underneath.

"Ice flows out into the floating ice shelf and melts or breaks off as icebergs".

The grounding line is the line between where the ice sheet rests on the seafloor and where it extends over the water. Ice loss is spreading from the coast into the continent's interior, with a reduction of more than 100 metres in thickness at some sites. "The process becomes self-perpetuating". Glacier instability/collapse first starts here.

By the end of this century, sea levels are expected to rise by up to two feet (60cm).

"(The size of) a cavity under a glacier plays an important role in melting", said NASA scientist Dr Pietro Milillo.

Most of that water is frozen in masses of ice and snow that can be up to 10,000 feet (3 kilometres) thick.

Until sometime in the 1800s, global sea levels remained more or less static, with only minuscule fluctuations.

Without it, surrounding glaciers could all disintegrate, raising sea levels by 2.5 metres if all ice were lost.

They say the ice chunk acts as a "backstop" that prevents others around it from melting.

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