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The “iceberg of the end of the world” is under close scrutiny

Nicknamed the “Glacier of the End of the World,” Thwaites Glacier threatens to collapse. If this happens, the ocean level will rise by about 60 centimeters, inundating many coastal cities. To monitor this possibility, researchers have developed artificial intelligence that is able to predict its evolution.

This summer, researchers charted the “end of the world” glacier, located in Antarctica, melting and retreating faster than previously expected. Now hanging by a thread. He owes this title to the consequences he bears meltingmelting, but is actually called Thwaites Glacier. At 120 kilometers wide and 600 kilometers long, its total melting will cause sea levels to rise by at least 60 centimeters, enough to engulf many coastal cities.

In a post by Natural Earth SciencesAnd The researchers decided to learn more about the evolution of the iceberg. They programmed a file Artificial intelligenceArtificial intelligence Able to follow the development of cracks at the level of the polemic line, i.e. the interface between Ice capIce cap and its ice tongue, the ice cap that juts out from the coast and flows into the sea. It is at this point, the key between the retained part of the underlying rock layer and the floating part, that part ofThe future of the glacier.

The main interactions between faults and glacier flow

The artificial intelligence (AI) programmed by the researchers used data collected by the Sentinel-1 satellites ofESAESA during the past decade. They let him see the top layer of snow on Thwaites Glacierso that we can see its icy surface, and especially its development.

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According to the resulting analysis, strand line decline accelerated and slowed twice in the past six years, peaking at 6 km/year before slowing down again. But also, the study revealed a close link between SpeedSpeed Ice flow and fault formation: The faster the flow, the more faults are formed. On the contrary, breaking the ice modulates the velocity of the flow. Which means the need to review models that do not take this parameter into account at the moment. Thus could it be the “glacier at the end of the world” to melt Much earlier than expected.