Antarctica: Thwaites Glacier meltback threatens global sea levels

Scientists from the USA and UK are launching a long term study into the history and present status of the massive Thwaites Glacier located in the remote and inhospitable western Antarctica. A detailed examination of the bedrock below and the climate above the glacier will be undertaken to further understand what has happened in the past and what may happen in the future. This is the result of meltback measurements showing the glacier to be receding at a rate which could, if not slowed down, result in global sea levels rising by more than a metre in decades rather than centuries.

The British Antarctic Survey team will drill into the ice and the rock below to measure isotope levels to establish whether climatic changes were affected by the glacier in the past while the survey vessel Sir David Attenborough will deploy its remote submarine to measure undersea currents and temperatures.

The following link is a podcast download of BBC Radio 4 ‘Inside Science’ from Thursday 20180503 where the first ten minutes follows the UK and US scientific leaders involved in the study and provides a good insight to the programme.