Thwaits Glacier wikicommons

By Rosell Rivas, age 9

According to a NASA study published in January 2019, Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier has a giant underwater hole.

A glacier is a large sheet of ice or snow that can be on land or the sea. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet. The continent has about 90% of the world’s ice and about 70% of the world’s fresh water.

Warmer temperatures, as a result of climate change, mean that glaciers melt at a faster rate of time. When glaciers melt, they cause sea levels to rise.

The NASA study found that the ice shelf in the area melted at an alarming rate of 650 feet per year between 2014 and 2017. That’s 1,950 feet in just three years. The Thwaites Glacier is currently responsible for 4% of sea level rise. Because of the glacier’s size and the rate at which it is melting, there is a great risk of this figure increasing.