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In the Antarctic glaciers, “shear zones” are where the glaciers are held in place and where the most tension plays out: This means scientists are using GPS photography and mechanical models to study the way the very first cracks create weaknesses that fuel further cracks. The latest warning over Antarctica’s melting glaciers comes amid a record heatwave on the other side of the planet in the Arctic. Antarctica's colossal Thwaites Glacier is melting fast - and scientists may have discovered why. The answer boils down to the fact that ice can flow without melting. These Scientists Say They Can Control Lightning, This Fusion Reactor Is Close to Burning Plasma, 27 Amazing Animals That Are Almost Extinct. “The fact that such warm water was just now recorded by our team along a section of Thwaites grounding zone where we have known the glacier is melting suggests that it may be undergoing an unstoppable retreat that has huge implications for global sea-level rise,” said David Holland, director of New York University’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, in a press release. Ice shelves are the gatekeepers for glaciers flowing from Antarctica toward the ocean, according to NASA. Antarctic glaciers terminate on land or in the sea, as floating ice shelves or grounded or floating outlet glaciers. Scientists studying a giant mass of ice in Antarctica known as the “doomsday glacier” believe they have discovered why it is melting so rapidly and pushing up sea levels. If the glaciers continue to meander and reach open water, they could raise the sea level by as much as 10 feet. They measured temperatures below the ice of more than 2 degrees F above the freezing point of the seawater. The video was captioned: “Something REALLY Strange Shows Up On Google Earth In ANTARCTICA - … Preventing this damage, or understanding the extent of it, is therefore tantamount in a world facing immense climate challenges. As he navigated the channel, a chunk of ice cracked and sent an ominous “boom” through the water. Please enable and refresh the page. A large swath of ice might be on the verge of breaking off of Antarctica and drifting off into the sea, according to Sky News. That means they’re naturally hemmed in by slopes and valleys. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Environmental journalism made possible by you. MICI hasn’t yet been observed in Antarctica, where there are much larger glaciers. When an ice cube is exposed to a heat source, like warm water or air, it melts. Antarctica’s glaciers are melting from above and below, like a Popsicle that you just can’t lick fast enough to keep under control. The East Antarctic ice sheet covers much of the Antarctic continent, affecting its response to global warming. If they continue to escape, they'll raise seas by 10 feet. We need immediate action from all nations to protect our planet,” Pugh told the BBC. Researchers trying to understand what's happening have drilled down through seven-hundred metres of ice, to allow a robot submarine to gather information. … In this research, the BISICLES model (see what they did there?) Pine Island Glacier, in West Antarctica, is retreating quickly. If these two glaciers alone end up in the open sea, they could add 10 feet to the global sea level singlehandedly. 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