Scientists say a large cavity the size of two-thirds of Manhattan discovered under a glacier in Antarctica. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the giant hole indicates a rapid decay. Further, it is one of the various disturbing discoveries emerged regarding the glacier. The large cavity measures two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet tall. The hole has been found growing at the base of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. The melting glacier about the size of Florida is liable for approximately 4% rise of the global sea level. If completely melt, the ice water could raise the world ocean over 2 feet.
According to researchers, the cavity would have harbored 14 billion tons of ice. Surprisingly, most of the ice melted over the past three years due to global warming. Looking at the base of Antarctic scientists wish to evaluate how fast global sea levels could rise due to climate change. While scientists said, it is impossible to reach Thwaites Glacier because it is one of the complex regions. Addedly, there is no other alternative to observe Antarctic glaciers from ground level. So the researchers used airborne and satellite ice-penetrating radars to uncover the cavity.
Besides, Eric Rignot, the co-author of the research published in Science Advances, said the team suspected for many years that the glacier was not tightly connected to the bedrock under it. Eric belongs to the University of California, Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He said thanks to the new technology and satellites to reveal the area to them. Eric said revealing the details of how the ocean melts away this glacier is essential to estimate its impact on sea level rise in the upcoming decades. Ice-penetrating radar in NASA’s Operation IceBridge discovered the opening. It is an airborne campaign which started in 2010. Thus the observation analyses relation between the polar regions and the global climate. The scientists also used information from a constellation of Italia and German satellites.
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