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Tag: Antarctic

Melting Antarctic glacier could increase global sea levels 8 feet

Melting Antarctic glacier could increase global sea levels 8 feet

Science
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A large hole under an Antarctic glacier is a sign of rapid decay that could lead to dramatic sea level rise, a study says. A cavity two-thirds the size of Manhattan and nearly 1,000 feet tall is growing beneath Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, according to study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. "We have suspected for years that Thwaites was not tightly attached to the bedrock beneath it," Eric Rignot, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and study author, said in a news release. "Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the detail." Researchers discovered the cavity during Operation IceBridge, an aerial expedition launched in 2010 to explore the relationship between polar regions and the global climate. They used NAS...
Antarctic Weddell expedition targets Shackleton's lost ship

Antarctic Weddell expedition targets Shackleton's lost ship

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device A scientific expedition in the Antarctic is set to depart its current location to go in search of Sir Ernest Shackleton's lost ship.The team has been investigating the Larsen C Ice Shelf and the continent's biggest iceberg, known as A68.And this puts it just a few hundred km from the last recorded position of the famous British explorer's vessel, the Endurance.The polar steam-yacht was crushed in sea-ice and sank in November 1915. Shackleton's extraordinary escape from this loss, saving his crew, means there is considerable interest in finding the wreck.Endurance should be resting on the ocean floor, some 3,000m down.The Weddell Sea Expedit...
UK team drills record West Antarctic hole

UK team drills record West Antarctic hole

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device UK scientists have succeeded in cutting a 2km hole through the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to its base. It's the deepest anyone has gone in the region using a hot-water drill. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) pulled up sediment from the bottom of the hole and deployed a series of instruments.The researchers hope the project's data can help them work out how quickly the White Continent might lose its ice in a warming world. Dr Andy Smith leads the team, which is still at the drill site at a location known as the Rutford Ice Stream.He says there is immense satisfaction at having reached the bed after so many years of trying. An aborted atte...
Japan will resume commercial whaling, but not in Antarctic

Japan will resume commercial whaling, but not in Antarctic

Technology
Japan announced Wednesday that it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts for the animals for the first time in 30 years, but said it would no longer go to the Antarctic for its much-criticized annual killings. Japan switched to what it calls research whaling after the IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s, and now says stocks have recovered enough to resume commercial hunts. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan would resume commercial whaling in July "in line with Japan's basic policy of promoting sustainable use of aquatic living resources based on scientific evidence." He added that Japan is disappointed that the IWC — which he said is dominated by conservationists — focuses on the protection of whale st...
Antarctic expedition hopes for Ernest Shackleton bonus

Antarctic expedition hopes for Ernest Shackleton bonus

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceA scientific expedition will next year try to find the Endurance, the ill-fated ship of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The vessel sank in 1915, crushed by sea-ice in the Weddell Sea and lost in 3,000m of water. Shackleton and his crew were forced into lifeboats to make an extraordinary and heroic escape across the Southern Ocean. UK researcher Prof Julian Dowdeswell will lead the international effort.He expects to have the cruise on station in January/February. Locating the shipwreck is not the primary goal of the expedition; the major objective is to visit and study the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which last July calved one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded in Antarctica. But because Larsen is so close to the last known position of the En...