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This a Problem

Sea level rise will be one of the most significant challenges we face in the next century. How high seas rise, and how soon has a lot to do with what happens here in Antarctica. Antarctica holds the most significant chunk of Ice on earth. Its Western Portion alone contains enough Ice to raise sea levels by more than 3 meters. It is in big trouble, mainly because of the Thwaites glacier, its face towers as high as a six-story building, and extends for 120 kilometers across the coast of West Antarctica, making it about Florida's size. It is a humongous glacier that reaches right into the heart of West Antarctica. That's a significant problem because it's becoming increasingly clear that the Thwaites glacier is falling apart in the past couple of decades.

These are portraits of a vast, rugged, treacherous content. Which has challenged man since first he could sail beyond the limits of his horizon. Antarctica's ice sheet landscape has its thickest in the middle, where years and years of snowfall compacts into Ice. As the middle builds, it pushes Ice out towards the oceans via glaciers. That of a glacier that floats on water is its "Ice shelf." Today human-made climate change is warming the air and water around Antarctica, causing each side of the ice sheet to melt- but at very different speeds. The eastern Ice sheets lie mostly on high ground above sea level, which keeps it relatively safe from warm ocean water. That means it's melting slowly and remains relatively stable.

Water can undermine it, Possibly kick-starting a more rapid collapse. It's why west Antarctica is considered the most critical piece of Ice in the world when it comes to climate change. Here's another view of the bedrock underneath Antarctica's Ice sheet. The green, yellow, and red parts are land above sea level, like in East Antarctica. However, these blue areas in west Antarctica are all below sea level. This area, where the bedrock slopes continuously for more than a mile down and deep into Antarctica's center, is the Thwaites Glacier. Moreover, it could be the most dangerous glacier in the world. Three mighty oceans surround it.

The seas are as much a part of Antarctica as her highest mountain. Right now, thwaites are barely hanging on. In the past 30 years, the front of the Thwaites ice shelf has lost a lot of Ice, causing it to retreat backward, with a smaller Ice shelf to slow Ice's flow. The flow of the glacier speeds up. However, the bigger problem is the "glaciers line," the final point where the glacier rests on the bedrock. That grounding line has been shifting backward as warm ocean water reaches underneath the ice shelf. It has moved 14 kilometers since 1992, so in other words, Ice that used to be in the land becomes Ice that is floating on water, rising the sea levels Which can be very dangerous because it can prominently flood lands to enormous degrees that are much more catastrophic and more deadly.


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