ice sheet

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Vast Find Made in Unknown Region of Antarctica

We know more about the surface of Mars than the bed of Antarctica

(Newser) - For more than 50 years, scientists from across the globe have been painstakingly mapping both poles, trying to get an accurate sense of the rock hidden beneath the ice sheets. Now, thanks to satellite data from multiple organizations and "serendipitous reconnaissance radio-echo sounding data" over the canyons of Antarctica,... More »

All Antarctic Ice Would Melt If We Burned All Fossil Fuels

Seas could rise 160 feet: study

(Newser) - If we were to burn all of the planet's fossil fuel reserves, we would be saying goodbye to the entire Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. That's the takeaway from an international study announced today, Reuters reports. "To be blunt: If we burn it all, we melt it... More »

Mystery of Vanishing Glacial Lakes Solved

Meltwater causes tension on lake bottoms, spawning hydrofractures

(Newser) - For years, scientists have known glacial lakes can rapidly empty themselves of billions of gallons of water—in at least one case, faster than the speed at which water flows over Niagara Falls. Now, they finally know how it's done. Researchers had guessed that the weight of the water... More »

Scientists Find Life Half a Mile Below Antarctic Ice

The active ecosystem is below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

(Newser) - A half a mile below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, in a lake that hasn’t been touched by sunshine or wind in millions of years, life goes on. A large US expedition called WISSARD , led by a professor at Montana State University, has unearthed a thriving... More »

Under Greenland's Ice: Soil Older Than Mankind

Land mass once home to forests

(Newser) - The soil under the highest point of the Greenland Ice Sheet, scientists have learned, is 2.7 million years old, LiveScience reports. In other words, the silt buried under thousands of feet of ice "has been preserved from beyond the dawn of humankind," says Paul Bierman, who determined... More »

Big Find Under Greenland's Snow: 100B Tons of Water

Snow insulates it, keeping it liquid year-round, say researchers

(Newser) - As far as discoveries go, this one is literally huge: An aquifer holding more than 100 billion tons of water that covers an area larger than West Virginia has been discovered beneath Greenland's snow-covered ice sheet. And it caught the researchers who stumbled on it in 2011 off-guard, with... More »

2.6K Feet Below Greenland Ice Sheet, 2 Huge Lakes

Researchers discover first subglacial lakes in Greenland

(Newser) - For the first time, researchers have discovered lakes underneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. The two newly identified subglacial lakes each measure about 8 to 10 square kilometers, and are nearly 2,625 feet below the surface, according to Science World Report . They were likely much bigger—three times bigger—in... More »

Polar Ice Sheets Melting Faster

Process to blame for a fifth of sea-level rise

(Newser) - The most expansive study yet is helping to clarify long-held uncertainties about polar ice. The melting of polar ice sheets has sped up since 1992, raising sea levels 0.43 inches—a fifth of their total rise since then. And while the melting ice sheets accounted for 10% of the... More »

Greenland, Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Expected

Ice sheets could send sea level up 6 inches by 2050

(Newser) - The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting significantly faster than previously estimated, according to a new international report led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Unless the trend is reversed, the melting ice sheets will push global sea levels up six inches by 2050, the scientists... More »

In Antarctica, Ice Forms in Unexpected Ways

It's supposed to fall as snow, and form from the top down...

(Newser) - Ice in Antarctica is supposed to form from the top down, the result of falling snow. But researchers who scanned an Antarctic mountain range with lasers and radar have discovered new ice developing at the bottom of miles-thick ice sheets ... and altering the surface. The earth’s heat melted the... More »

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