Articles | Volume 15, issue 11
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-5187-2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-5187-2021
Research article
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22 Nov 2021
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 22 Nov 2021

Two decades of dynamic change and progressive destabilization on the Thwaites Eastern Ice Shelf

Karen E. Alley, Christian T. Wild, Adrian Luckman, Ted A. Scambos, Martin Truffer, Erin C. Pettit, Atsuhiro Muto, Bruce Wallin, Marin Klinger, Tyler Sutterley, Sarah F. Child, Cyrus Hulen, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, Michelle Maclennan, Eric Keenan, and Devon Dunmire

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Cited articles

Alley, K. E., Scambos, T. A., Anderson, R. S., Rajaram, H., Pope, A., and Haran, T. M.: Continent-wide estimates of Antarctic strain rates from Landsat 8-derived velocity grids, J. Glaciol., 64, 321–332, https://doi.org/10.1017/jog.2018.23, 2018. 
Alley, K. E., Wild, C. T., Scambos, T. A., Muto, A., Pettit, E.,Truffer, M., Wallin, B., and Klinger, M.: Two-year velocity and strain-rate averages from the Thwaites Eastern Ice Shelf, 2001–2020 U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) Data Center [data set], https://doi.org/10.15784/601478, 2021. 
Bell, B., Hersbach, H., Berrisford, P., Dahlgren, P., Horányi, A., Sabater, J. M., Nicolas, J., Radu, R., Schepers, D., Simmons, A., Soci, C., and Thépaut, J.-N.: ERA5 hourly data on single levels from 1950 to 1978 (preliminary version), Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Climate Data Store (CDS), available at: https://cds.climate.copernicus.eu/cdsapp#!/dataset/reanalysis-era5-single-levels?tab=overview (last access: 9 November 2021), 2020. 
Bindschadler, R., Choi, H., Wichlacz, A., Bingham, R., Bohlander, J., Brunt, K., Corr, H., Drews, R., Fricker, H., Hall, M., Hindmarsh, R., Kohler, J., Padman, L., Rack, W., Rotschky, G., Urbini, S., Vornberger, P., and Young, N.: Getting around Antarctic: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year, The Cryosphere, 5, 569–588, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-569-2011, 2011. 
Borsa, A. A., Moholdt, G., Fricker, H. A., and Brunt, K. M.: A range correction for ICESat and its potential impact on ice-sheet mass balance studies, The Cryosphere, 8, 345–357, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-8-345-2014, 2014. 
Short summary
We present a 20-year, satellite-based record of velocity and thickness change on the Thwaites Eastern Ice Shelf (TEIS), the largest remaining floating extension of Thwaites Glacier (TG). TG holds the single greatest control on sea-level rise over the next few centuries, so it is important to understand changes on the TEIS, which controls much of TG's flow into the ocean. Our results suggest that the TEIS is progressively destabilizing and is likely to disintegrate over the next few decades.