Antarctica's Seasonal Meltwater Networks More Extensive Than Previously Thought

Antarctica's Seasonal Meltwater Networks More Extensive Than Previously Thought

Antarctica's Seasonal Meltwater Networks More Extensive Than Previously Thought

Most vulnerable are the massive, floating ice shelves that ring the Antarctic continent and help prevent inland glaciers from sliding toward the sea, they reported in the journal Nature.

Dr Jeremy Ely, from Sheffield University's geography department, said: "If melted completely, Antarctica's ice sheets contain enough water to raise global sea levels by around 58 metres".

Climate models will need to incorporate this new twist in Antarctic meltwater, and their predictions should become less dire than they now are.

The survey also showed that numerous meltwater streams and channels begin near mountains poking through glaciers or in areas with little or no snow, exposing the underlying bluish ice.

Bell and colleagues looked at the movement of water on the surface of Nansen Ice Shelf, also part of the Antarctica peninsula, and found that its drainage system may in fact help relieve pressure.

Scientists are also studying Greenland for clues as to how these streams might develop and affect sea level rises - between 2011 and 2014, about 70 percent of the 269 billion tons of ice and snow lost by Greenland to the oceans was due to meltwater. "Meltwater is still a bad thing", she says, but it's "not always going to be a death to ice shelves". As the ice melts, liquid water will create a path downhill through overlying snow. Climate change is a real phenomenon, and its link to human activities is at this point well understood, but the details of the system and the ways in which its countless variables interact with one another are much less clear to us. This causes melting of ice. "So we really can't tell what the future holds for any one particular ice shelf".

The different types of meltwater drainage systems could raise different possibilities for ice sheet stability.

A relatively flat ice shelf (a) is likely to have numerous melt ponds and streams, which could destabilize the shelf by infiltrating crevasses and causing more fracture, while an ice shelf with a steeper slope (b) may have more of a large river network that could export meltwater off the ice shelf.

Newly recorded drainages usually start near mountains finding their way down through glaciers.

"He added: "Our study has found that extensive networks of lakes and streams have persisted in Antarctica for decades which move surface water across its ice sheets on" to ice shelves".

"When you turn up the temperature, it's only going to increase". Banwell, who wrote a Nature commentary on the two papers, was not involved with the research. He said it was "a stretch", though to say that surface rivers like that on the Nansen shelf would protect the ice.

The Weather Company's primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives.

Recommended News

  • UK Parliament approves Prime Minister's early election call

    Demmer said Wednesday: "The German government assumes that the negotiations can be continued without disruption". The remaining 27 European Union countries will be asked to endorse Tusk's guidelines at a summit on April 29.

    Watch Ceremony With President Trump Online

    In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today's ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters. Quarterback Tom Brady counts Trump as a friend, though he did not attend the White House meeting because of family issues.
    Alabama LB Reuben Foster had a diluted drug test sample

    Alabama LB Reuben Foster had a diluted drug test sample

    He also had an altercation with a hospital worker and was sent home before he could finish his medical exam, per Rapoport. He said he was sick before the combine, and he saw a doctor, received medication and started hydrating himself.
  • Democrats Blow Winning Elections Ossoff Handel 4/19/17

    Democrats Blow Winning Elections Ossoff Handel 4/19/17

    Ossoff won 48.3% of the votes, more than all the other candidates, but had needed to win 50% for an outright win. Ossoff, who had predicted an outright victory, nonetheless said the outcome was a win.
    Trump group's ads bolstering GOP Obamacare repeal drive

    Trump group's ads bolstering GOP Obamacare repeal drive

    That's according to a white paper describing the amendment, which is the result of weeks of negotiation between Meadows and MacArthur.
    Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway US election: documents

    Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway US election: documents

    Putin has repeatedly denied that his government had any hand in trying to determine the USA election. After Reshetnikov retired from the institute in January, Putin named Fradkov as his replacement.
  • UN strongly condemns North Korean missile launch after delay

    UN strongly condemns North Korean missile launch after delay

    Next week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a minister-level meeting on the North Korean issue at the UN. One diplomat said it was unlikely the Security Council would be able to resolve differences on the statement.

    Turkey arrests dozens in anti-referendum protests

    Turkey's main secularist opposition said it will launch an appeal against the result this afternoon. The assessment drew a harsh rebuke from Erdogan and criticism from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

    Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison with Bible verse written across forehead

    Thompson, revealed that he intends to file all the appropriate paperwork once Aaron's death certificate is available. According to Baez, the Hernandez family expected to receive the brain Thursday morning so they could give it to BU.
  • Fox stock holds steady following O'Reilly firing

    Fox stock holds steady following O'Reilly firing

    We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. The ratings impact of Bill O'Reilly's firing will be measured over months, not days.
    North Korea propaganda video depicts bombing in USA  city

    North Korea propaganda video depicts bombing in USA city

    On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US wants to force North Korea leader Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table. It could be a deliberate ploy, a subtle warning to North Korea, but beyond that there seems to be no strong reason for a strike.

    Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro Unveiled in India, Priced at Rs 27990 ($436)

    The folks at SamsungVN have obtained alleged images of the refurbished Galaxy Note7 device that has a model number of SM-N935. Samsung, which last week unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8 , was helped by strong sales of memory chips.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.