Toenails stuck to Thwaites Glacier appear to be peeling off.

The Thwaites Ice Front in the vulnerable West Antarctic strip is very wide (70 miles wide where it meets the ocean) and in its entirety is the size of Florida. The glacier is the most feared as it is rapidly decomposing and threatening coastal cities around the world. The cork in the bottle for the entirety of West Antarctica holds ten feet from sea level. The collapse of the marine expanse will not cause the sea level to rise because it is already floating. When it breaks down, the cork breaks, and land ice moves freely in the Weddel Sea and Amundsen Sea, raising sea levels.

All of the damage to Thwaites’ stability takes place under the ice. The upwelling of warm ocean waters softens and erodes the glacier’s soft white bottom layer. The water flow also lifts the ice, as warmer water can flow into the ridge and out of the grounding line, further dissolving the ice with a faster flow, more fragmentation and cracking with the risk of avalanche. Water can do this because the ice is no longer anchored to the bedrock.

The ocean at the front of the glacier is still very cold, around 34-36 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s above freezing, and if you think of an ice-laden afternoon cocktail, it’s similar to the temperature of ocean water gobbling up a glacier. As you sip on your cocktail, you’ll notice the ice melting, which is exactly what’s happening to the underside of the massive marine expanse of Thwaites Glacier. The glacier carries by itself a 2-foot rise in sea level.

Geophysicists have been able to map the bottom of the icy sea. Like you and me, we have a history, and so does Thwaites.

3D rendering of multibeam bathymetry (seafloor profile) colored by depth, collected by Rán across a seafloor ridge in front of the Thwaites Ice Shelf.

A recent study by the University of South Florida:

At some point in the past 200 years, over a period of less than six months, the glacier front lost contact with the edge of the seafloor and retreated at a rate of more than 2.1 kilometers per year (1.3 miles per year) – double the rate documented using satellites between 2011 and 2019. .

“Our results suggest pulses of very rapid retreat have occurred in the Thwaites Glacier in the past two centuries, and possibly as recently as the mid-20th century,” Graham said.

“Thwaites is really sticking to her nails today,” said the marine geophysicist, “and we should expect to see big changes on small time scales in the future — even from year to year — once the glacier retreats beyond a shallow edge in its bed.” and study co-author Robert Larter of the British Antarctic Survey.

Thwaites’ tongue is fifty miles wide. You can distinguish the tongue depending on its firmness and whether it is held on an edge. While in danger, the western part of the tongue remains relatively stable. The eastern part sheds chunks of ice like there is no tomorrow, and the eastern side also contains the majority of the ground ice. Sooner rather than later due to the mess, in my estimation.

For twenty-two years, a large iceberg named Iceberg B22a broke off from the tongue of Thwaites in 2001 and became stuck to its tip, shielding the remaining ice from the open ocean. The iceberg was fifty-three miles long and forty miles wide. It also gets under warming waters, and the burgh weakens enough that it’s freed from the mountain it was stuck on in September of 2022. That means a brutal attack on Thwaites from the ocean. A fleet of icebergs is expected to be generated from the front after the iceberg exits the Amundsen Sea and enters the Weddel. If you didn’t know, West Antarctica passed the tipping point many years ago.

Satellite imagery indicates that the front is in serious trouble. No one has reported this yet, as it did in early December 2022. However, the images are being posted to Twitter by people worried about the inevitability of the crash who are dissecting the images in NASA’s worldview and posting them to Twitter.

1300 kilometers of open ocean along the #thwaites area..
Despite cold temperatures and cold SSTs

No word nowhere.
And no clouds….perfectly clear image today


— 🇺🇦Christopher Cartwright🇺🇦 (@chriscartw83) November 30, 2022



I forgot to underline the most important fact. The Thwaites Glacier will really end up in dangerous waters when the blocking iceberg B22a will have removed from the Amundsen Sea.
B22a now turns very fast to squeeze itself out from between the 2 undersea cliffs in the west & east.

— Kris Van Steenbergen (@KrVaSt) December 1, 2022



Yikes. Over a less than 6-month period, the Thwaites Glacier’s grounding zone retreated at a rate of more than 1.3 miles per year, which is twice the rate that had been previously observed by satellite from 2011 to 2019.

— Poppy Davis (@psmorehouse1) December 2, 2022



We’re waiting until the sea ice barrier in front of the Thwaites Glacier & in front of the Crosson Ice Shelf will crumble.

In the end TG, the PIG Tongue & the Crosson Ice Shelf will collapse due to extra lift & warm underflows.

1 year, 2 years, maybe 4!
It could happen anytime.

— Kris Van Steenbergen (@KrVaSt) December 2, 2022



Crumbling sea ice is normal at this time of the year.
Iceberg B22a turning around & leaving the Amundsen Sea after 21 years is the thing we need to worry about. Thwaites Glacier is a lost cause without its blocking chunk of ice.

There nothing upstream coming close to a new B22a!

— Kris Van Steenbergen (@KrVaSt) December 4, 2022



This is the centre & the weakest spot of Thwaites Glacier’s calving front, right above a steep retrograde slope (its last stable grounding line).
The blue area is 1 km deep!
Its fingernails seem to break.
The TG Tongue has reached a speed of 1km/month now!

— Kris Van Steenbergen (@KrVaSt) December 3, 2022



It looks like only a corner of the tongue broke off (The tongue is where the marker is) This sequence is early November through 7 December. Note that the large sheets took some time to move off. I suspect this was from the grounding.

— USGS: Sea Level Rise in Melting Glaciers: 263′ (@CassandrasGhost) December 8, 2022



As I indicated earlier, there is no report from anyone yet. Citizens working to monitor Antarctica spread the word. You can see their names above.

My dear female relatives who are reading this news are concerned. Everyone, not so much. It’s important news, and you, my friends, are among the first to know. If you live on the coast and own a home, take this information seriously for any future plans you may have.

The marine expanse at Thwaites is expected to collapse within three to five years.

#Toenails #stuck #Thwaites #Glacier #peeling

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