“Disturbing” discovery: Giant hole found under Antarctica glacier
Researchers say a massive cavity the size of two-thirds of Manhattan was found under a glacier in Antarctica. The pocket is a sign of “rapid decay” and just one of “several disturbing discoveries” made recently regarding the glacier, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a news release Wednesday.
“[The size of] a cavity under a glacier plays an important role in melting,” said Pietro Milillo of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “As more heat and water get under the glacier, it melts faster.”
The growing cavity sits in West Antarctica at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier, which is about as big as Florida and contains enough ice to contribute more than 2 feet to sea level rise, NASA said. It is growing at an “explosive” rate that surprised researchers conducting a study the agency led on the glacier.
“The findings highlight the need for detailed observations of Antarctic glaciers’ undersides in calculating how fast global sea levels will rise in response to climate change,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.