Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica, is of particular concern to scientists. Here, warm water is pushed up onto the continental shelf, where it flows along the bottom until it reaches the floating ice shelf in front of Thwaites Glacier.
Thwaites Glacier today is rapidly losing mass in response to changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions.
Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is currently the focus of a major scientific campaign. Why is Thwaites Glacier of so much interest, however? How much ice is there, and how much would sea levels rise if it all melted?
Glacier is roughly the size of UK (176 x103 km2). The glacier
terminus is nearly 120 km wide, and the bed of the glacier reaches to >1000
m below sea level. Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier together account
for 3% of grounded ice-sheet area, but they receive 7% of Antarctica’s snowfall1.