WEST ANTARCTICA - A hole the size of two-thirds of Manhattan and 1,000 feet deep has been found in a glacier in Antarctica.
The giant cavity is growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in west Antarctica, according to a NASA-led study.
Researchers believe 14 billion tons of ice under the glacier have melted over the past three years.
Beneath West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, @NASAJPL researchers found signs of rapid disintegration: a cavity 2/3 the area of Manhattan. It's big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, and most of it melted over the last 3 years. More science: https://t.co/NaraA7amKi pic.twitter.com/Nknxb5l5dc— NASA (@NASA) January 31, 2019
Scientists were surprised by the size of the hole under the glacier and how fast the ice is melting.
Thwaites Glacier is about the size of Florida and is currently responsible for about 4 percent of global sea level rise, according to NASA. “It holds enough ice to raise the world ocean a little over 2 feet and backstops neighboring glaciers that would raise seas levels an additional 8 feet if all ice were lost, NASA said in a press release.
Scientists are calling for more research on the underbellies of Antarctic glaciers to better predict how much and how fast sea levels will rise as a result of the melting polar regions.
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