PHOTO: Greenpeace
Now playing
01:58
Melting Antarctic ice could drown the Brooklyn Bridge
US President Joe Biden swears in presidential appointees during a virtual ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, after being sworn in at the US Capitol on January 20, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden swears in presidential appointees during a virtual ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, after being sworn in at the US Capitol on January 20, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
Now playing
01:29
'I'll fire you on the spot': Biden tells staff to treat others with respect
President Joe Biden signs his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden signs his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Now playing
02:56
Biden signs executive actions aimed at dismantling Trump's policies
Harris
Harris
PHOTO: Senate Tv
Now playing
02:01
A proud Harris smiles as she swears in new senators in her new role
Former US President George W Bush (L), Jym Clyburn from South Carolina and Former US President Bill Clinton (R) speak ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President, on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Former US President George W Bush (L), Jym Clyburn from South Carolina and Former US President Bill Clinton (R) speak ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President, on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: SAUL LOEB/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Now playing
01:16
Clyburn reveals what Bush said about Trump and Biden at inauguration
Now playing
00:54
Officer who lured Capitol rioters away applauded at inauguration
SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Citing the risk of further incitement of violence following an attempted insurrection on Wednesday, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump
SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Citing the risk of further incitement of violence following an attempted insurrection on Wednesday, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump's account. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
04:29
What impact could deplatforming Donald Trump have?
PHOTO: pool
Now playing
01:33
Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States
Amanda Gorman, a 23-year-old Black woman who is the United States
Amanda Gorman, a 23-year-old Black woman who is the United States' first-ever youth poet laureate, recited a poem at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
05:32
Youth poet laureate recites her stunning poem at Biden inauguration
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:07
President Donald Trump departs the White House
President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Base Andrew on Wednesday, January 20.
President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Base Andrew on Wednesday, January 20.
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:00
See Trump's final message as President as his family looks on
banon wayne split
banon wayne split
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
02:00
Trump pardons 73 people, commutes sentences of 70 others
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Now playing
01:15
12 Army National Guard members removed from inauguration duty
(CNN) —  

A massive cavity two-thirds the size of Manhattan has been discovered growing in an Antarctic glacier, signaling rapid ice decay that has shocked scientists.

The huge hole – measuring almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall – was found growing at an “explosive rate” at the bottom of a glacier in West Antarctica, said NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement Wednesday.

The Thwaites Glacier is around the size of Florida, and the team of NASA-led scientists researching it had expected to find “some gaps” between the ice and bedrock.

The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica
The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica
PHOTO: NASA/OIB/Jeremy Harbeck

“The size and explosive growth rate of the newfound hole, however, surprised them,” they said.

The cavity was “big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, and most of that ice melted over the last three years,” they added.

By observing the undersides of Antarctic glaciers, researchers hope to calculate how fast global sea levels will rise in response to climate change.

The Thwaites Glacier is one of the hardest places to reach on Earth, and there’s no way to monitor Antarctic glaciers from ground level over the long term, said scientists.

Instead, the team used airborne and satellite ice-penetrating radars to reveal the cavity.

“We have suspected for years that Thwaites was not tightly attached to the bedrock beneath it,” said Eric Rignot, one of the co-authors of the study.

“Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the detail,” he said.

The glacier holds “enough ice to raise the world ocean level a little over 2 feet (65 centimeters),” said the team. Thwaites also “backstops neighboring glaciers that would raise sea levels an additional 8 feet (2.4 meters) if all the ice were lost,” they added.

“Understanding the details of how the ocean melts away this glacier is essential to project its impact on sea level rise in the coming decades,” Rignot said.