"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Wednesday 21 February 2007

Antarctic water world uncovered

Antarctic water world uncovered

 By Jonathan Fildes

Satellite images reveal the changes in volume of water
Giant "blisters" containing water that rapidly expand and contract have been mapped beneath the Antarctic ice sheet.

Fed by a complex network of rivers, the subglacial reservoirs force the overlying ice to rise and fall.

By tracking these changes with Nasa's Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) scientists were able to map the extent of the subglacial plumbing.

The results, published in the journal Science, show that some areas fell by up to 9m (30ft) over just two years.

"We didn't realise that the water under these ice streams was moving in such large quantities, and on such short time scales," said Dr Helen Fricker of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, and one of the authors of the paper.

"We thought these changes took place over years and decades, but we are seeing large changes over months."

The results are important for understanding how the Antarctic Ice sheet, which contains nearly 90% of the world's ice, may respond to global warming and how much it may contribute to sea level rise.

Climate response

Nearly 150 subglacial lakes have been identified beneath the vast Antarctic ice sheet.

The new ones were found under the fast-flowing Whillans and Mercer Ice Streams that carry ice from the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to the floating Ross Ice Shelf.

Map, BBC

These streams of ice move many metres every day and are of particular interest to climate scientists.

"It's the fast-moving ice that determines how the ice sheet responds to climate change on a short timescale," said Professor Robert Bindschadler of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, and one of the researchers on the study.

As atmospheric temperatures rise, melting the ice shelves, their ability to hold back the ice streams on land would be reduced.

"We aren't yet able to predict what these ice streams are going to do."

However, understanding how much water flows beneath the ice is critical because it is one of the factors that determine how fast they flow. More water could speed up the flow of ice into the sea, raising sea levels.

"It's essentially the grease on the wheel," said Professor Bindschadler.

Ebb and flow

Using elevation data from Nasa's ICESat, cross-checked with other Nasa satellites, the team was able to map the rise and fall of the overlying ice, and hence areas where water pooled or flowed away.

Launched in 2003, ICESat can measure changes in elevation as small as 1.5cm (0.6ins) from its orbit 645km (400 miles) above the Earth.

The study revealed a complex network of ponds and rivers, the largest of which occurred under the Whillans ice stream and covered an area of 500 sq km (190 sq miles).

It also showed that water was constantly moving between different reservoirs.

For example, a feature known as Lake Englehardt took just under three years to empty two cubic kilometres (2 trillion litres) of water.

In the same period, Lake Conway filled with an additional 1.2 cubic kilometres (1.2 trillion litres) of water.

Not all of the water was the same as some escaped to the ocean or was refrozen on to the base of the glacier.

Observations like these were only possible using the new satellite technique.

"Until now, we've had just a few glimpses into what's going on down there," said Professor Bindschadler.

"This is the most complete picture to date what's going on beneath fast flowing ice."

The findings were presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting here in San Francisco, US.

For further enlightening information enter a word or phrase into the search box @  New Illuminati or click on any label/tag at the bottom of the page @  http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com

And see

The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com

This material is published under Creative Commons Copyright (unless an individual item is declared otherwise by copyright holder) – reproduction for non-profit use is permitted & encouraged, if you give attribution to the work & author - and please include a (preferably active) link to the original along with this notice. Feel free to make non-commercial hard (printed) or software copies or mirror sites - you never know how long something will stay glued to the web – but remember attribution! If you like what you see, please send a tiny donation or leave a comment – and thanks for reading this far…

From the New Illuminati – http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com


  1. Bonus Tanpa Syarat dengan Media Kiu-Kiu Online Vladimir oblast Situs www.pokerrusia.top Melalui HSBC - Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Kode Bank 042.

  2. Welcome to brotherhood Illuminati where you can become
    rich famous and popular and your life story we be change totally my name is Dan Jerry I am here to share my testimony on how I join the great brotherhood Illuminati and my life story was change immediately . I was very poor no job and I has no money to even feed and take care of my family I was confuse in life I don’t know what to do I try all my possible best to get money but no one work out for me each day I share tears, I was just looking out my family no money to take care of them until one day I decided to join the great Illuminati , I come across them in the internet I never believe I said let me try I email them.all what they said we happen in my life just started it was like a dream to me they really change my story totally . They give me the sum of $1,200,000 and many thing. through the Illuminati I was able to become rich, and have many industry on my own and become famous and popular in my country , today me and my family is living happily and I am the most happiest man here is the opportunity for you to join the Illuminati and become rich and famous in life and be like other people and you life we be change totally.If you are interested in joining the great brotherhood Illuminati.then contact him whatsspa +2347051758952 or you need my assistance   morganiilluminatirich@gmail.com


Add your perspective to the conscious collective