What is Thwaites Glacier?

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What is Thwaites Glacier? Blog Image


Scientists studying Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier say warm water is seeping into its weak spots, worsening melting caused by rising temperatures.

About Thwaites Glacier:

  • Thwaites glacier, nicknamed the “Doomsday glacier,” is a fast-moving glacier in West Antarctica.
  • It covers an area roughly the size of Great Britain.
  • It is 120 km wide at its broadest.
  • The glacier is rapidly losing ice to the ocean in response to climate change and changes in ocean circulation.
  • It loses more than 50 billion tons of ice to the ocean yearly, contributing to about 4% of the annual sea level rise.
  • The glacier holds enough water to raise global sea levels by 65 centimeters.
  • It has retreated by about 14 kilometers since the late 1990s.
  • It also acts as a buffer, holding back neighboring glaciers that contain around three meters of potential sea level rise.


Q1) What are the causes of sea level rise?

The two major causes of global sea level rise are thermal expansion caused by warming of the ocean (since water expands as it warms) and increased melting of land-based ice, such as glaciers and ice sheets.

Source: So-called Doomsday Glacier is ‘in trouble,’ scientists say after finding surprising formations under ice shelf