120 km wide, 600 km long and 3 km deep. Here are the dimensions of Thwaites Glacier. And this especially worries various scientists. Indeed, what we nickname the “glaciers of the apocalypse,” one of the most important in the world, is in danger of disappearing from the face of the Earth within five to ten years.
Recently, glaciologists gathered in New Orleans to discuss the matter. According to him, the collapse of glaciers can have devastating effects on our planet. The reason is simple: it blocks many other large glaciers in Antarctica. Its disappearance would involve a snowball effect as it would allow other glaciers to follow its trail, while thus accelerating glacier detachment and melting in ocean waters.
According to scientists, the intensification of global warming is the reason for this possible detachment.
For BBC Nieuws, Dr. Erin Petit of Oregon State University illustrates the problem: “I look at it like that car window where you have some slowly growing cracks and then all of a sudden you hit a bump in your car and it starts to shatter in all directions.”, he elaborated.
Currently, Thwaites, which is the size of a state like Britain or Florida, throws 50 billion tons of ice into the ocean every year. Its effect on world sea level is limited. But if it were to melt completely, its collapse would be enough to raise the level of the oceans by 65 centimeters. A scenario that could have devastating effects on our planet.