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Ici, la langue glaciaire du glacier Thwaites, dans l’ouest de l’Antarctique. Pour la première fois, des chercheurs ont étudié les dessous de ce glacier à l’aide d’un sous-marin autonome. Et les données qu’il a rapportées sont plutôt inquiétantes. © Nasa

They dive “at the end of the world glacier” and return with confusing news

For some years now, researchers have recognized the Dwights Glacier, located in western Antarctica, as one of the most sensitive to anthropological global warming. Newer works may further justify its nickname as “the iceberg at the end of the world.” By diving – almost – for the first time under the Dwights Glacier, researchers have actually discovered hot water currents that seem to threaten the pillars on which they rest.

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Disaster. Apocalyptic. Or even “Judgment Day”. “World Doomsday”. Here are some possible translations of the word ம் Doomsday Used by English speakers to qualify Glacier Twites. It is a glacier in the western Antarctic. This nickname, he owes to his impressive extent. Nearly 200,000 km.2 – This is one-third of the surface of France. But above all, in recent years, it has played a significant role – one-third in 2012 – Mass Lost ice on the side of the Old to Bin Bay that opens into the Amundsen Sea.

“Global sea level is affected by the amount of ice Terre. However, the biggest uncertainty in the forecasts is the future evolution of the Western Antarctic ice sheet. ”, Explains Anna Wahlin, a marine scientist at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) Communication. If the western Antarctic ice sheet represents 10% of the current sea level rise rate, it represents the greatest potential for future rise. Because Climate change Occurs in the fastest region of the world.

This is why Researchers at the University of Gothenburg Dwights wanted to stare at what was happening on the side of the iceberg. More precisely … under the glacier. Dwights Glacier, by its location and shape, is particularly sensitive to hot and salty ocean currents. And a thank you Submarine Autonomous – baptized run -, the researchers were finally able to measure the power, temperature, salinity and oxygen content of these currents.

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Hot water currents threaten the stability of the glacier

“These are the first measurements taken under this glacier. They help us to better shape its dynamics. ”, Says Anna Wahlin. In the immediate future, they will provide researchers with information about distributors Ocean currents They form under the floating part of the Dwights glacier. They revealed many hot water routes. “How and where this warm water hits the Dwights Glacier is affected by the shape and surface of the ocean. Ice float, But also by the properties of water. “

Although researchers believe an underwater rock could prevent the arrival of hot water from the east, measurements taken by their autonomous submarine now show real relevance. Water enters the stage from the bay of Île du Pin. Both channels from the north have been updated.

Perhaps most importantly, the new information gathered by the researchers reveals the surprisingly active area. The area where different masses of hot water meet and mix. In a ballet that needs to be understood to refer to processes Source At the base of the ice. But who is currently directingHot water To important places on the iceberg. Locations where ice is attached to the ocean ensure the stability of the site. So we understand that there is a font around these “Pin points” May be through careless instability. And abundant snowfall from land to sea.

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