Researchers say the Antarctic glacier was in a massive cavity, two-thirds of Manhattan. The pocket is a sign of "rapid collapse", and only one of the "several worrying discoveries" recently made for the glacier, said NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a report released on Wednesday.
"[The size of] pips play an important role in scrapping, ”said Pietro Milillo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.” As more heat and water enter the glacier, it melts faster. ”
The rising cavity is located in the western Antarctic at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier, which is about as large as Florida, and has enough ice to provide more than 2 feet to sea level rise, NASA said. It is rising with an "explosive" rate that surprised researchers who conducted the research and led the glacier.
"The findings reveal the need for detailed observations of Antarctic glaciers in calculating how fast the global sea level will respond to climate change," said NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
CBS News Climate and Weatherman Jeff Berardelli reports that cavity is probably a major breakthrough, as Western Antarctic ice sheets are considered one of the most unstable and vulnerable. It seems that not only the melting of the ocean, but also the bottom, and the warmer ocean waters infiltrate.
NASA said the hole was big enough to hold 14 billion tonnes of ice, most of which melted over the last three years. Scientists say the glacier is responsible for about four percent of the global sea level rise.