A robotic submarine has captured for the first time an underwater foundation image of one of the world’s most important glaciers,media reported. Remotely operatethe probe Icefin traveling under the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica to understand the impact of future sea level rise.
As the climate changes, the sharp rise in sea levels is becoming more and more worrying, and the situation of the Thwaites glacier is of particular concern. Also known as the Doomsday Glacier, it is one of Antarctica’s most unstable glaciers, which is rapidly flowing into Pine Island Bay in the Amundsen Sea. It has melted faster in recent decades, accounting for 4 percent of sea level rise in some areas, and there are fears that if the glacier collapses, it could cause it to rise by 25 inches (64 centimeters).
The key to assessing this threat is the ground wire, where glaciers, the seabed and the ocean meet. How far the glacier’s ice shelf is on this line is a sign of its stability.
“One of the important reasons the ground wire is working like this is because we can directly manipulate the detector to it and actually measure its location,” says Britney Schmidt of the Georgia Institute of Technology. And that’s where melting and instability are most likely. “
Schmidt’s team built Icefin in a laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology as part of a major effort by the U.S. and U.K. Antarctic Bureau of Investigation (BAS) to conduct an in-depth study of Thwaites. During this time, the BAS hot water drill dug a 590-meter hole in the ice to get into the ground.
Icefin traveled 15 kilometers in five missions. This includes two trips into the stranded area, one of which is where we are as close as possible to the sea floor and ice. We see an amazing interaction between ice, caused by the rapid melting of sediments and warm waters on the ocean floor. Schmidt points out.
It is reported that Icefin and other tasks of the data collected is still under study, the results are expected in the next few months or years.
“We know that warm waters are eroding many glaciers in Western Antarctica, but we are particularly concerned about Thwaites. These new data will provide a new perspective on what is happening so that we can predict future changes more definitively,” said KEITH Nicholls, a BAS oceanographer.