Antarctica's 'Doomsday Glacier’ Could Collapse in 3 Years
The Thwaites Glacier in western Antarctica is the widest glacier on Earth, spanning approx 80 miles. It’s also melting and rapidly becoming more unstable.
The glacier is known as the 'Doomsday Glacier’ because if it were to break up entirely, global sea levels would rise by 2+ feet. Its collapse could also trigger a string of glacial collapses in Antarctica, and if the surrounding glaciers were to fail with the Thwaites, global sea levels could rise by up to 10 feet.
Scientists with the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration found that not only is warming water melting the Thwaites Glacier from below, but it is also loosening the glacier from its submerged seamount, making it that much more unstable. The scientists say that in as little as 3 years, the entire ice shelf could shatter 'like a car window.’
The Thwaites Glacier has reportedly lost an estimated 1,000 billion tons of ice since 2000, and according to scientists, it now loses approx 50 billion tons more ice than it receives in snowfall every year.
This footage shows the Monacobreen Glacier in the Arctic calving, or breaking off. This happens due to the forward motion of glaciers making the end of the ice sheet unstable. This is how icebergs are formed.