He is nicknamed “the glacier of the apocalypse”. The Thwaites Glacier is melting rapidly and threatening to raise sea levels. The work published this Monday, September 5 in the journal Nature Geoscienceand relayed by TF1 news, are very worrying. According to experts, the glacier is melting faster than expected.
The researchers took into account the ongoing melting of the glacier over the past two centuries. The observation is clear: over a period of five to six months, the glacier retreated at a rate of 2.1 km/year. “Twice the rate observed in the part that fell the fastest between 2011 and 2019”, write the researchers in the study.
Furthermore, it is impossible to determine exactly when this sudden acceleration occurred. It may be “as recently as the mid-twentieth century,” says Alastair Graham, lead author of the study, in comments reported by CNN.
Located in West Antarctica, the Thwaites Glacier is one of the widest on Earth and is larger than the state of Florida. According to NASA, the total collapse of the “glacier of the apocalypse” could raise sea level up to 16 feet.