It is a massive disaster scenario! One of the world’s largest glaciers in Antarctica is on the verge of collapse. As a result, the global sea level could rise by 65 cm and threaten major cities such as New York.
The Thwaites Glacier is the size of Great Britain. Increased global warming is causing it to melt. The result: fissures intersect in the floating portion of the Thwaites Glacier and threatens to separate itself from its anchor in the form of an underwater mountain. When this happens, the ice can flow unchecked into the sea and much of the glacier collapses.
The glacier has lost more than 1,000 billion tons of ice since 2000. The flow rate has also doubled in 30 years, says Ted Schampos of the University of Colorado, who monitors the glacier. This means Thwaites is spitting twice as much ice into the ocean as he did in the 1990s.
Fear of chain reactions resulting from melting glaciers
Thwais isn’t alone in the researchers’ concern: Melting them could set off a chain reaction and drive other glaciers away. This means a sea level rise of several metres. As a result, large cities such as Shanghai, New York or Tokyo may be inundated by floods.
German climate researcher Mujeeb Latif (Unikel) on Bild: “The biggest danger is that ice masses are sliding from land to sea. But these are dynamic processes that are difficult to calculate. Unfortunately, this scenario cannot be ruled out. But we are talking about time periods of many decades.”
These three visions threaten humanity
The massive melting of glaciers is not the only catastrophe threatening us humans. BILD calls it the greatest danger!
► There are a number of giant volcanoes on Earth: these include the Phlegraean Fields near Vesuvius in Italy, as well as the volcano below Yellowstone National Park in the USA. The eruption of such a gigantic volcano could lead humanity to disaster. Huge amounts of ash can darken skies around the world and damage crops.
► Along the San Andreas fissure in California, a major earthquake could devastate cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
► However, the greatest danger looms from space: just as a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, a new part of the sky hitting Earth could also wipe out humanity.
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