All posts tagged: glacier’s ice

I Was There as the World’s Widest Glacier Split Apart

I Was There as the World’s Widest Glacier Split Apart

[ad_1] Out on the bow of the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer, the air is dense and almost warm. We have punched through miles of Antarctic ice floes to reach the Amundsen Sea’s foggy interior. I want to honor the remaining distance between us and Thwaites Glacier’s calving front––this place that many scientists suggest could make a catastrophic impact on global sea levels but that no one, as of this moment in February of 2019, had ever before visited by ship––and yet I don’t really know what to do except stand here. Just off the port side: a half-flipped iceberg in the shape of a pyramid. It looks like a ruin, something time has partially undone—what rested below the water line waxed away by the heat of the sea, the once-sunk ice smooth as glass. That night, sound sleep eludes me. I wake often, each time hopeful that we have arrived. Finally, around 5 o’clock, I rise. Shuffle up the five flights of stairs that separate my cabin from the bridge. Outside, Thwaites’s gray margin wobbles …