O Thwaites Glacier, located in Western Antarctica, is one of the most unstable in the region. one of those that melts at a faster rate than originally planned.
The most recent study on the evolution of glaciers in this area of Antarctica, published on January 31, 2019 in the journal Advancement of Science, indicates that its melting can have a strong sea-level impact on a global scale.
Currently, Thwaites presents a cavity with an area equivalent to twice the city of Manzanillo, in the state of Colima, and has a height equivalent to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The volume of this cavity is equivalent to 12,000 times the capacity of the Azteca Stadium, south of Mexico City.
Initial calculations indicate that this cavity could have contained, before emptying, about 14,000 tons of ice, where most of it has become water or is part of small icebergs floating in the Amundsen sea.
NASA did a detailed satellite monitoring of this glacier and, with the analysis of the data obtained, it was possible to determine that most of the glacier melt has been recorded in the last three years and that this may cause an increase in the global level of seas up to 2.4 meters in the coming decades.
This increase would be achieved in case the neighboring Thwaites glaciers are destabilized by cavity growth. Currently, 4% of the global increase in sea level is due solely to Thwaites.
According to information published by Dr. Alfredo Sandoval Villalbazo, an academic and researcher at the Universidad Iberoamericana, A two-meter rise in sea level would have catastrophic effects on civilization.
Numerous inhabited islands would be submerged and important coastal areas would disappear. According to the interactive map developed by Climate Central, important parts of the coasts of Tabasco, Campeche and Quintana Roo would be seriously affected by an increase in these proportions.
As a result of the threat posed by the Thwaites melt, expeditions were determined to complement the satellite information and thereby increase the accuracy of the mathematical models used to predict the evolution of this and other glaciers.
Mexico and climate change
According to the new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) if the temperature of the planet increases, there is a risk that almost all coral reefs will disappear, acidification of the ocean and a drop in corn, rice and wheat production.
Fernando Aragón-Durand, a researcher at El Colegio de México and one of the authors of the report, explains that in Mexico there is a distinct vulnerability to the different impacts of climate change such as extreme rainfall, floods, droughts and hot flashes.
For Roberto Sánchez Rodríguez, a researcher at the College of the North Frontier and one of the reviewers of the IPCC text, Mexico is very exposed to weather events. "We see them year after year with hurricanes, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific, we have drought problems, heat waves," he says.
According to the researcher, insufficient attention was given to the current impacts of the effects of climate change or was asked what to do and how to reduce the country's vulnerability.
In addition to the lack of attention, there is also a lack of resources to meet the needs that come with global warming.
Through a statement, the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) noted that For Mexico, attention to the challenge of climate change remains a priority and urgent issue.
According to the INECC, an investment of 130 billion dollars is necessary to reach the mitigation objectives until 2030. And in the case of taking no action, the cost to the country will be 143 billion dollars.