Thwaites ‘Doomsday’ Glacier Narrative Collapses…Total Melt Raises Sea Levels 1-2 mm, Not 3048 mm

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“[N]o numerical modeling work has shown that Thwaites Glacier is currently undergoing an irreversible retreat.” – Gudmundsson et al., 2023

It was only months ago that mainstream US journalists published articles claiming the Thwaites “Doomsday” Glacier has only “a few more years” until it collapses into the sea (ABC NewsCBS News).

This “spine-chilling” catastrophe with “global implications” would, it was claimed, raise sea levels by the equivalent of 10 feet, or 3,048 mm.

Image Source: ABC NewsCBS News

But per a study (Gudmundsson et al., 2023) published online yesterday, scientists need to consider the buttressing of the ice shelves (affecting ice flow into the ocean itself), as this significantly impacts estimates of ice-melt contributions to sea level rise.

Instead of 3,048 mm (10 feet) of sea level rise contribution from the complete removal of Thwaites, the authors assessed it would be closer to a “negligibly small” 1-2 mm over the next 50 to 100 years. In other words, the notorious “Doomsday” glacier is doomless, with “no discernible effect” associated with future mass losses.

The authors even go on to say that there is no modeling work showing Thwaites Glacier is “currently undergoing an irreversible retreat,” and there is “no reason to expect a possible disintegration of the [Thwaites] ice shelf to meaningfully impact SLR [sea level rise] projections.”

One of the more commonly-cited alarmist claims has just been bushwhacked.

Image Source: Gudmundsson et al., 2023