Massive Antarctic glacier could collapse, US and UK join forces

International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration will incorporate other nations’ research to time a potential collapse and assess implications for sea level rise, coastal infrastructure.

The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica could significantly affect global sea levels. As part of a new $25 million research collaboration, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) announced today that teams of scientists at U.S. institutions will deploy to Antarctica to gather the data needed to understand whether the glacier could begin to collapse in the next few decades or centuries from now.

The research collaboration, called the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC), was announced at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) headquarters in Cambridge, England. The collaboration’s scientists will begin their first research season in Antarctica in October 2018, establishing a logistical support structure for future work. The collaboration will continue until 2021.

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