US and UK join forces to find how quickly a massive Antarctic glacier, the size of Britain, could collapse.
A £20 million joint US-UK mission, one of the most detailed studies of an Antarctic glacier ever undertaken, will study ‘world’s most dangerous glacier,’ that could collapse within decades and raise sea levels by 10ft.
Above, image credit NASA
The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica could significantly affect global sea levels. It already drains an area roughly the size of Britain or the US state of Florida, accounting for around 4% of global sea-level rise – an amount that has doubled since the mid-1990s.
NERC and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) will deploy scientists to gather the data needed to understand whether the glacier’s collapse could begin in the next few decades or centuries.
Image credit Telegraph
The programme, called the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC), is the largest joint project undertaken by the two nations in Antarctica for more than 70 years – since the conclusion of a mapping project on the Antarctic Peninsula in the late 1940s.
Thwaites Glacier Collaboration: The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica could significantly affect global sea levels. It already drains an area roughly the size of Britain or the U.S. state of Florida, accounting for around four per cent of global sea-level rise —an amount that has doubled since the mid-1990s. A joint UK-US research programme launched today (Monday 30 April) is one of the most detailed and extensive examinations of a massive Antarctic glacier ever undertaken.
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Image credit NERC
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