Antarctic scientists say warm water is worsening melting of Thwaites Glacier due to rising temperatures.
Thwaites Glacier alone could cause over half a meter of sea level rise and destabilize neighboring glaciers, which could cause an additional three-meter rise.
US and British scientists used an underwater robot vehicle called Icefin during a six-week expedition on the Thwaites Glacier in late 2019 and early 2020.
Researchers discovered warm water entering glacier crevasses, causing sideways melt of over 30 meters per year.
“Warm water is getting into the weakest parts of the glacier and making it worse," said Britney Schmidt.
The findings underscore how climate change is reaching isolated Antarctica.
The International Thwaites Glacier collaboration is the biggest field campaign ever attempted in Antarctica.