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First complete map of Antarctica ice flow speed and direction

Friday, August 19th 2011 - 09:59 UTC
Full article 2 comments

The first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica will help scientists to track future sea-level increases, according to the team behind the project. Read full article


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  • GeoffWard2

    ”We are seeing amazing (ice) flows from the heart of the continent . . .

    formations moving up to 800 feet annually across immense plains sloping toward the Antarctic Ocean and in a different manner than past models of ice migration. . . . .

    ice moves by slipping along the ground it rests on . . . . .

    if we lose ice at the coasts from the warming ocean, we open the tap to massive amounts of ice in the interior”.

    The speed that the **3 mile deep** ice mass of the interior moves to the coast is accelerating as the warming circum-polar waters (and, surprisingly, the Fukoshima earthquake) calve off the coastal ice.
    This is a positive feedback system that we have virtually no chance of reversing.
    Sea level rise is small, so far - but only at the moment.
    The great sea-level cities of the world will need a bit of re-location because 'more than two-thirds of the world's large cities are in areas vulnerable to rising sea levels',

    Aug 19th, 2011 - 08:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britishbulldog

    Scientists have always thought that the vast majority of ice contained in the Antarctic ice cap was formed from frozen precipitation. Recent research has revealed that this is not totally correct. Over a large fraction of East Antarctica, the deepest part of the ice sheet contains ice that did not originate as surface snow but developed when subglacial meltwater was frozen onto the underside of the ice sheet. The amount of ice involved is much larger than the estimated volume of Antarctic subglacial lakes and may even exceed the volume of all glaciers on Earth outside of the two polar ice sheets. Current computer models predict that subglacial water escapes toward the ocean. These new findings indicate that water from areas of basal melting actually migrate to areas of basal freezing, something not accounted for by current ice sheet models. To scientists' surprise, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is getting thicker from the bottom up.

    Aug 22nd, 2011 - 09:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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