Scientists in Antarctica have recorded, for the first time, unusually warm water beneath a glacier the size of Florida that is already melting and contributing to a rise in sea levels. The researchers, working on the Thwaites Glacier, recorded water temperatures at the base of the ice of more than 2 deg C, above the normal freezing point.
Nearly 100 scientists and support staff departed this week for the most ambitious mission to date for Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica.
A new UK-U.S. Antarctic research program to improve the prediction of future sea-level rise was launched on Monday at British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Cambridge. The £20 million 5-year research collaboration, funded jointly by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), brings together over 100 polar scientists from leading UK and U.S. research organizations.
Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it's being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists and flight crew members with Operation IceBridge, NASA's airborne mission to study Earth's changing polar ice have started another campaign over Antarctica. Now in its fourth year, IceBridge's return to the Antarctic comes almost a year after the discovery of a large rift in the continent's Pine Island Glacier.