Floods under Antarctic Ice speeds Glaciers into Sea

Mid November and Ahmedabad still awaits winter, while nostalgic hopes and memories of the scheduled weather keeps the city folks apprehensive, greater mysteries of the role of global warming is being discovered all over the world. According to the most recent research, it was discovered that beneath the ice layer of giant Byrd Glacier in east Antarctica, overflow of water is speeding the sub glacial lake flood. The latest study done by Dr Leigh Sterns is matter of world consideration.

Previous reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 expressed the uncertainty of the correlation of global warming and the ongoing ice behavior leading to rise in sea levels. Dr Stern’s recent research brings into light the possible ice- dynamics which is lubricating the base of the glacier leading to melt down of ice sheets into the ocean.

It is being noted that subglacial lakes in Antarctica periodically shed huge quantities of water. Water in the lakes remain liquid despite being buried beneath a mile of ice due to the warmth from underlying rocks, overflow of these water streams affect the mountains of ice above. The inundation of these lakes lifts the ice by several meters, and when the water spills over in flood, the elevation sinks again. Within the past two years rapid changes in the ice elevation has been marked with an increase in the speed of ice flow by almost 10%, on an average Byrd glacier used to channel 20 billion tons of ice towards the Ross Sea, which has now increased to 22 billion tons of ice.

Reading this report may sound like a regular phenomenon of nature, but over viewing the larger picture brings in lot of apprehension about the future. On one hand glaciers all around the world are melting on the other hand rise in sea level due to various factors is causing mayhem. The interconnectivity of these phenomenons might still be under dispute but the affect of the earth heating up can be see world over.