Airborne Radar Developed by CReSIS Helps Peer Down Thwaites Glacier

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Airborne Radar Developed by CReSIS Helps Peer Down Thwaites Glacier
Posted: May 14, 2014

National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded researchers at the University of Washington have concluded that Antarctica's fast-moving Thwaites Glacier will likely disappear in a matter of centuries, potentially raising sea level by more than a half-a-meter (two feet).

A high-resolution map of the Thwaites Glacier's thinning ice shelf. The glacier now appears to be in the early stages of collapse, with full collapse potentially occurring within a few centuries. Credit: David Shean / University of Washington
Data gathered by NSF-funded airborne radar, detailed topography maps and computer modeling was used to make the determination.

The glacier acts as an ice dam, stabilizing and regulating movement toward the sea of the massive West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The ice sheet contains enough ice to cause another 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) of global sea level rise.

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