For the first time, American polar explorers, using a specially designed underwater robot Icefin, were able to look into the very bottom of the Thwaites Glacier. Its second name is "Doomsday Glacier" because, hypothetically, it is capable of melting at an incredible rate. This will cause the world's oceans to rise by 64 cm and completely destroy the most developed coastal regions around the planet.
The Thwaites Glacier has long been known for its instability. A key parameter indicating the likelihood of its destruction is protrusion beyond the ground line. This is the place where the frozen bottom of the glacier collides with land and water, and the more the glacier moves beyond this line, the higher the risk of catastrophic deformation. It was there that Icefin was sent, having drilled a well for it with a depth of 590 m.
In total, the device swam 15 km, passed along the entire glacier grounding line and came close to it. His cameras clearly recorded a frightening picture of the ice mass, dotted with potholes, grooves and other traces of friction against the ground. Obviously, the activity of the glacier was previously underestimated, as well as the influence of warm waters on the rate of its melting. More detailed reports and forecasts will be provided later as we study.