The huge pit is one of the many confusing consequences of the NASA-led decadal glacier study. (Photo: NASA / OIB / Jeremy Harbeck)
Nearly 300 meters high in Manhattan size was found at the bottom of Antarctic ice sheets.
- The size of the newly discovered hole and the explosive growth rate surprised scientists.
- The NASA's mission was revealed by an ice penetration radar deployed by IceBridge.
- If the glacier is completely melted, the sea level can rise to 65 cm.
Thwaites Glacier, more than twice that of Tasmania, currently accounts for about 4% of global sea level rise.
NASA-led research has shown that some gaps between the ice and the rocks below the glacier are expected to occur, allowing water above the sea to drain and melt below. However, the team said the size and explosion of the explosion caused the cavity size to be surprisingly fast.
They think it has 14 billion tons of ice and most of the ice has melted in the last three years.
"We have suspected that the Thwaites are not firmly attached to the underlying rocks," said co-author of NASA's Eric Rignot researcher.
"Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the details."
Thwaites Glacier now accounts for about 4% of global sea level rise. (Built-in: Flickr / NASA / James Yungel)
The huge joint was revealed by an ice penetration radar deployed by NASA's Operation Icebridge, which began in 2010 to study the connection between polar regions and the Earth's climate.
"[The size of] It plays an important role in the melting of holes under the ice, "said Pietro Milillo, lead author of the study.
"More heat and water dissolve faster as it spreads below the glacier."
When thwaites melt, sea level can rise by 65 cm.
Scientists use satellite or aircraft instrument data to observe changes in the flow rate and surface height of melting glaciers over time.
They also note the "ground line" of the glacier – the point where the glacier moves to land and floats in the sea.
The more exposed the lower abdomen of a glacier is in the sea, the more likely it will melt.
Thwaites Glacier has enough ice to raise the world's oceans by more than 65 centimeters, and melting all the ice in adjacent Antarctic glaciers can raise the world's sea level by 2.4 meters.
A large-scale international field project has begun to study glaciers, one of the most difficult places on the planet, to determine the cause of rapid rust.
Professor Rignot said it is important to understand how glaciers are being affected by increasing exposure to sea water.
"Understanding that this glacier melts in the ocean is essential for planning the impact on sea level rise for decades to come," he said.