Large ice-bound river found in western Antarctica

(ORDO NEWS) — In the west of Antarctica, climatologists have found a large subglacial river 460 km long, which, in terms of length and volume of transported water, exceeds many large European water arteries.

The results of a study by the British Imperial College London (ICL) are reported in the journal Nature Geoscience.

According to climatologists, this river is accelerating the melting of the ice cap.

They tried to identify the cause of this acceleration and studied the structure, speed and direction of the flow of ice flows in the western regions of Antarctica.

The experts also compiled a map of the speeds of the flow of ice massifs.

Researchers have identified anomalous zones where the speed of movement of ice masses was high. The study of their structure indicated that such areas were adjacent to a large subglacial river.

Each year, these regions of glaciers lose more mass than other areas of ice massifs with low movement speed.

According to the researchers, these differences indicate that the Antarctic rivers under the ice accelerate the process of “sliding” of glaciers into the ocean, which increases the rate of their melting.

According to scientists, the polar regions of the Earth and mountain glaciers will be the first to suffer from climate change.

The temperature on their territory in recent years has become 4-9 degrees higher than in past centuries, which will irreversibly lead to a noticeable reduction in their area and the melting of ice in large areas of Antarctica and the Arctic.

In the near future, scientists are going to conduct similar measurements for other regions of Antarctica. The discovery and study of subglacial rivers, according to experts, will help determine exactly what role hidden water arteries play in the process of accelerated melting of the Earth’s southern ice sheet.


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