New discovery of underwater channels linking the ‘Doomsday Glacier’ with the sea

Newly discovered channels under Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica can be one way that warm, salty seawater is transported under the glacier, something that can cause the ice to melt. This is the finding of new research that included researchers from University of Gothenburg.

Foto: Aleksandra Mazur

Thwaites Glacier takes up an area half the size of Sweden, and its position in a deep cavity makes it sensitive to changes in the sea. Over the last 30 years, melting from Thwaites has increased fivefold and now accounts for about four per cent of total sea level rise on the planet. The research question is how much the melting could increase in the future.

Anna Wåhlin, professor at the University of Gothenburg and co-author to the study, feels the new research findings are important for understanding the processes ongoing under the ice and for understanding how sensitive the area is for changes to sea temperature.

“By identifying the most important channels, we know where to measure ocean currents in the future and where the key areas are.

New discovery of underwater channels linking the ‘Doomsday Glacier’ with the sea (gu.se)