A team of researchers has discovered a massive cavity that has appeared under one of the largest glaciers that are located in Antarctica. The gap is already spanning 66% of Manhattan’s surface and it seems that it continues to grow at an accelerated rate, hinting that the melting of Antarctic ice could occur at a faster rate than it was previously thought.
According to one of the researcher the size of the glacier plays a critical role in the equation. If the base of the glacier is compromised it can melt faster and in unpredictable ways, leading to a chaotic fragmentation.
The void was found at the base of the Thwaites glacier which is located in West Antarctica. The glacier itself is as big as the entirety of Florida. If it melts completely sea levels could rise by up to two feet. The speed at which the melting progresses has prompted NASA researchers to start an in-depth study.
The discovery is a clear hint that more needs to be done in order to track the speed at which the Antarctic ice is already melting.
As global warming continues to hold a grasp over the world phenomena like this will tend to become more common and the consequences could be direr than it was thought at first. Recent studies have shown that the last century was the warmest in a period of more than 150,000 years and it is likely that the trend will continue.
The Paris Agreement, signed by over 100 countries, stipulates a series of changes that should decrease pollution rates all over the world, in order to reduce the constant growth of the global temperature. While the US formally rejected the Paris Agreement a large amount of efforts are placed in enforcing some of the changes proposed by the document while also working on new methods that could help other countries in the long run.