NASA has discovered a secret system beneath Antarctica that is “linked to the entire Earth.”
NASA has discovered a secret system hidden beneath Antarctica’s ice that is “linked to the entire Earth.”
Approximately 5,000 scientists visit the ice continent each year to examine the unspoiled region in order to learn more about the Earth’s past and the consequences of climate change. Its arid nature provides them with a unique ecosystem in which they can finish their studies despite temperatures as low as -90 degrees Celsius. But there’s a lot more going on beneath the ice than most people realize.
NASA scientists recently revealed the discovery of two new lakes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
They’re part of a massive underground network of streams concealed beneath 1.2 to 2.5 miles of ice.
These lakes are reported to fill and drain in mysterious cycles that could affect how rapidly the ice sheet moves and how and where meltwater enters the Southern Ocean — an important factor in global ocean circulation.
“It’s not just the ice sheet we’re talking about,” study leader Professor Matthew Siegfried, a geophysicist at the Colorado School of Mines, said.
“What we’re talking about here is a water system that is linked to the entire Earth system.”
The bottom of the ice sheet’s water system was originally discovered in 2003, due to NASA’s ICESat mission.
Scientists discovered that fluctuations in ice height in West Antarctica indicated a massive mass of subglacial water movement beneath the ice sheet after analyzing data.
Hidden meltwater lakes were originally thought to exist in isolation, cut off from one another.
Researchers discovered in 2007 that variations in the height of Antarctica’s surface ice indicated the flow of water between a hidden network of subglacial lakes, which alternately fill and drain before their water flows to the Southern Ocean.
ICESat-2, the follow-up mission to the ICESat project, is now offering scientists a better grasp of the strange network.
“The discovery of these interconnected systems of lakes at the ice-bed interface that are moving water around, with all of these implications for glaciology, microbiology, and oceanography — that was a significant discovery from the ICESat mission,” Prof Siegfried stated.
“After using ICESat, ICESat-2 is like donning on your glasses; the data are so precise that we can truly start mapping out the lake boundaries on the.”Brinkwire Summary News”.