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Glaciers & rising sea levels: What’s happening with the Doomsday Glacier?

Antarctica has what is known as a Doomsday Glacier, and if it collapses it could cause a dramatic rise in sea levels.

Doomsday glacier and other glaciers melting ice into the ocean causing sea levels to rise

The nickname was given due to the high risk it has of falling into the ocean relatively soon.

Should that happen, so will an extreme rise in sea levels.

What is the Doomsday Glacier and how can it impact the sea level so drastically?

Officially known as the Thwaites Glacier, it could fall into the water with devastating consequences.

As the planet grows warmer, the glacier continues to erode along its underwater base, according to CNN.

Currently, scientists recently realized the glacier actually dislodged from the seabed at some point in the last two centuries.

Right now it’s sticking behind a seabed that helps keep it where it should be.

The issue is that it’s barely hanging on, and once it passes that threshold it will start to melt.

Changes should be expected quickly once the glacier passes the seabed, and they will be seen as quickly as year-to-year.

Studying of the Doomsday Glacier began in 1973.

Ten years later they found that the glacier was attached to the seabed and not dry land, meaning it could come detached from below.

That has happened.

In 2021 a study showed that the glacier, which keeps ice from falling into the ocean freely, could shatter within 5 years.


NASA discovers how much ice has really been lost

Recent studies done by NASA show that the amount of ice loss is actually double what scientists previous thought it was.

Icebergs are being shed at a faster rate than they can be replaced.

The estimated ice loss from 1997 to now was 6 trillion tons, but it has now reached 12 trillion tons.

Antarctica is literally crumbling around its edges.

The study was able to map back 36 years of ice loss using spaceborne altimetry instruments.

Researchers were able to find a way to figure out how to predict how much of the glacier will melt

The newest estimation is that the complete loss of this specific glacier would increase sea levels by ten feet, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The estimate was determined using computer models and physical data.

The data mapped the area of the ocean floor in front of the glacier to see how much of the glacier had thawed in the past.

The Doomsday Glacier isn’t the only melting ice that will cause the sea levels to rise

According to Forbes, by the year 2100 sea levels will rise by 10 inches due to Greeland’s melting ice.

The study determined sea levels will rise by 10.8 inches no matter what.

That means even if the world fixes their output of carbon emissions, the sea level rise will happen anyway.

This prediction was made using data from the melting ice between 2000 and 2019.

While an exact date wasn’t given, researchers said it would happen within this century.

The 10.8 inches was the least amount possible only if the planet didn’t continue to get warmer.

This means the rise could be as much as 30.8 inches in reality.

New Hampshire can expect some drastic changes in sea level changes along their coast in the coming decades, according to WMUR 9.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that there could be one to one and a half feet in sea level rising by the year 2050.

One foot has already been seen in the last century.

The melting ice sheets and warming weather are the two biggest contributing factors to rising sea levels.

“The historical data that we have is starting to paint a picture, and we’re able to take that historical data and extrapolate it into the future,” said Jamie Carter, of NOAA.


What are people who could be impacted by the rising sea levels doing to adapt?

According to the World Economic Forum, there are up to 410 million people that could be impacted by the end of the century.

$5.5 trillion dollars is estimated when it comes to the cost of adapting to rising sea levels.

Cities are creating new ideas including floating cities, sponge cities, and ways to stop flooding.

Senegal uses a method of putting stakes in the sand to help protect their homes from high tides.

In Wellington, New Zealand, the city has created a digital version of itself. This is to show the impacts of rising sea levels.

The Maldives has created a block of floating homes.

One project will create 5,000 units tied to the lagoon floor.

Other areas in Europe are putting more into their coastal infrastructure to protect their coasts.

China has created sponge cities, using things like wetlands or vegetation instead of water management systems to naturally absorb and release water.

Finally, restoring mangroves and wetlands in San Francisco is one way the city is working to lower the impact of floods from the sea level rising.

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