September 19, 2021

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The Earth's crust beneath western Antarctica is thin and its glaciers are in danger of collapsing.  Germany

The Earth’s crust beneath western Antarctica is thin and its glaciers are in danger of collapsing. Germany

Due to the melting of the Doomsday Glacier, which supports the edge of the western Antarctic ice sheet, ice melting has increased dramatically throughout the region, causing sea levels to rise to unprecedented levels.

A New study Published in Communications Earth & Environment on August 18, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute – the Helmholtz Center for Polar and Ocean Research in Germany (AWI) recorded a significant difference between the thickness of the Earth’s crust west and east of Antarctica.

This negatively and significantly affects the stability of glaciers, especially the Dwights Glacier, also known as the Doomsday Glacier.

The crust of the Earth beneath West Antarctica is thinner than that of West Antarctica (NASA)

Thin floor veneer

Western Antarctica is considered one of the fastest warming regions on Earth.

Because Western Antarctica is located within a sea trench, the crust beneath the ocean is much thinner than the crust below East Antarctica.

Scientists have long suspected that this relatively thin crust would absorb more heat from the planet’s upper mantle, which could negatively affect the formation and growth of glaciers over millions of years.

The researchers found – as pointed out Official report Published on Phys.org – The crust below western Antarctica is significantly thinner than in eastern Antarctica, about 17-25 km thick in the west compared to about 40 km in the east.

Thus, the researchers concluded that the Dwights glacier is exposed to higher ground temperatures than the glaciers on the other side of the continent.

Glacier ice loss accelerated dramatically due to global warming (Wikimedia Commons)

Geothermal heat from the ground

Based on the results of the analysis of geomagnetic field data in western Antarctica, a team of researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute has developed new maps of the geothermal flow in the region. Antarctic for warming.

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The researchers calculated the distance between the Earth’s crust and mantle in different parts of Antarctica and the relative heat flux in those areas.

According to the report, study team member Carsten Joel said “high groundwater temperatures will only lead to a partial freezing of the iceberg bed, or a permanent layer of water will form on its surface.”

“In both cases, glaciers can slide very easily, thus increasing glacier snow loss at a dramatic pace,” he added.

Risk of flooding in coastal areas

Since the 1980s, Tavites has lost an estimated 540 billion metric tons of ice, which alone contributed to a 4% increase in the ocean annually.

However, the rate of ice loss in glaciers has accelerated significantly over the past three decades because of the hidden rivers of relatively warm seawater cut at the bottom of the glacier and the effects of warming climate change. Air and sea.

And step A statement Published in LiveScience in September 2020, in a situation like this, if the Doomsday Glacier collapses completely into the ocean, global sea levels will rise by about 65 cm, destroying coastal communities around the world.

In addition, the melting of the Doomsday Glacier, which supports the edge of the western Antarctic ice sheet, has dramatically accelerated the melting of ice throughout the region, causing sea levels to rise to unprecedented levels.

As part of an international research project, researchers are trying to extract field samples in the form of ice cores penetrating the bottom of the Dwights Glacier, which will help determine how long the Doomsday Glacier will take to collapse.

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