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Antarctica's grounding lines are retreating across the seafloor

Antarctica's grounding lines are retreating across the seafloor

Science
April 2 (UPI) -- The grounding lines of Antarctica are on the retreat on the ocean floor. According to a new study by scientists at the University of Leeds, warm ocean water is shrinking Antarctica's underwater footprint.According to the new data, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, the Southern Ocean melted 565 square miles of underwater ice between 2010 and 2016.Antarctica's glaciers have been retreating at an average rate of 82 feet per year. But the rate retreat of the grounding lines of eight of the ice sheet's 65 largest glaciers is five times greater, roughly 410 feet per year.The most dramatic rates of grounding line retreat were measured along the coast of West Antarctica."Our study provides clear evidence that retreat is happening across the ice sheet due to oce...
NASA satellite spots shattered iceberg beneath the Antarctica's midnight sun

NASA satellite spots shattered iceberg beneath the Antarctica's midnight sun

Science
Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A newly released NASA image showcases the fragmented state of iceberg B-44, glistening in the midnight sun of Antarctica.B-44 is the berg that calved from Pine Island Glacier in September. Pine Island Glacier is one of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet's main outflows. B-44 was the second major fragment to separate from the glacier in the last several years. The first calving occurred in 2015.Analysis suggests the ice sheet and its glaciers are breaking apart from the inside out as warming ocean water weakens the coastal ice shelf from beneath.Scientists believe an unusually warm pocket of water also explains the rapid breakup of B-44, which shattered into more than 20 fragments shortly after its separation from the glacier. The warm water, known as a polyna, has prevented the ...
Antarctica's warm underbelly revealed

Antarctica's warm underbelly revealed

Science
This is the best map yet produced of the warmth coming up from the rocks underneath the Antarctic ice sheet. This "geothermal heat flux" is key data required by scientists in order to model how the White Continent is going to react to climate change. If the rockbed's temperature is raised, it makes it easier for the ice above to move. And if global warming is already forcing change on the ice sheet, a higher flux could accelerate matters. The map was made by researchers at the British Antarctic survey and is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters."The heat coming from the Earth’s interior is important to understand the overall conditions that control the dynamics at the base of the ice sheet and hence the ice flow,” explained Yasmina Martos, currently affiliated to the US sp