June 29, 2022

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Scientists on the “Apocalypse Glacier”

Scientists on the "Apocalypse Glacier"

(New York) Scientists are going to one of the most abusive places on Earth to better understand the impact of Antarctic ice melting on rising sea levels.


Seth Borenstein
Associated Press

Thirty-two researchers on Thursday embarked on a mission that will take more than two months aboard an American science ship to study the area across the glacier Amundsen Sea and the area where large amounts of ice could be caused by warming water. .

This Florida-sized glacier was named the “Apocalypse Glacier” because of its enormous amount of ice. If all that ice melts, sea levels could rise by as much as 65 centimeters over many centuries.

Due to its importance, the UK and US launched a $ 50 million mission to study the world’s largest Twaite glacier on land and at sea. The Antarctic Peninsula, once an area of ​​great concern to researchers.

Photo by the British Antarctic Survey Archives Associated Press

This photo, released in 2019 by the British Antarctic Survey, shows a hole in the Tights Glacier in Antarctica. The Tights ice shelf was filled with hundreds of cracks like a damaged windshield.

“I would say that the Tweets are the main reason for so much uncertainty about future sea level rise because he’s been so remote and so hard to reach,” Anna said Wednesday. Wahlin is a marine scientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

MMe In the next few hours, Wahlin joined the research ship Nathaniel B. Palmer, which was scheduled to depart from a Chilean port. “Its setup makes it unstable and it makes us anxious,” she says.

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The Tights send 50 billion tons of ice into the water each year. The British Antarctic Survey has estimated that glaciers are responsible for 4% of global sea level rise, and the University of Colorado’s glaciologist Ted Scambose has warned that conditions are accelerating as more ice is lost. Located at McMurdo Ground Station.

Erin Petit, glaciologist at Oregon State University, makes it clear that the Tweets appear to be collapsing in three ways:

Dissolution by seawater

The terrain of the glacier appears to have “lost its grip” where it was attached to the seabed. Therefore most of it is likely to fall into the sea and melt.

Photo by the British Antarctic Survey Archives Associated Press

The Florida-sized Tights Glacier is named the “Apocalypse Glacier” because it contains enormous amounts of ice.

The Tights ice shelf was filled with hundreds of cracks like a damaged windshield. This is of great concern to MMe Ten kilometers long cracks were reported in just one year.

No one has ever set foot on the key ice-sea interface of the Tights. In 2019, mMe Wahlin was on a ship exploring the area with a robot deployed from the ship, but she did not set foot on shore.

This time the team mMe Wahlin dives under the Tights using two robotic ships and explores part of the glacier overlooking the sea.

Scientists measure water temperature, examine the seabed and measure ice thickness. They examine the cracks in the ice and the ice formation process. They also tag seals on islands from glaciers.

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Tights “looks different from other ice shelves,” M says.Me Wahlin.

“It almost looks like a pile of icebergs compressed together,” she says. So it is more clear that it is not a solid piece of ice like other ice shelves, it is a pretty uniform snow. It has many pieces and spots. ”