Apr 22, 2017 09:03 PM EDT
Aside from Antarctica’s icy environment and climate, a vast network of waterways like rivers and waterfalls were discovered by scientists. Researchers then mentioned that what they had discovered were nearly 700 systems of connected pools and streams in total, which is more than they thought.
According to CBS News, a team of researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found out that there is more meltwater leaking from Antarctica. The study published in the journal Nature also stated that the discovery of extensive meltwater may prove that the continent is prone to melt in the future.
“Even though people kind of knew there were melt ponds around, they really didn’t know that water could move long distances across the surface,” said Jonathan Kingslake, a glaciologist at Columbia University and lead author of the study. “Streams take water away from the surface of the ice sheet and actually export it all the way into the ocean… And we didn’t really realize this happened at all,” he stated after studying Antarctica’s data and photos from the last decades.
Nonetheless, it was concluded by experts that Antarctica being prone to melting whenever the temperature in the continent rises up could lead to a huge global issue. Antarctica flows into “ice shelves” that weakens the inner ice from the continent. If those ice shelves then melt in due time, a dangerous sea level rise across the world was said to occur per Popular Science.
NOAA then predicted as well in a study that Antarctica melting would lead to global sea level rise between one foot and 8.2 feet by the year 2100. Other researchers also supported the 8 feet rise to be dangerous as just a sea level of 6 feet is enough to destroy the homes of six million Americans.
On another note, Live Science showed an astonishing view of Antarctica today with putting “non-invasive sensors and cameras” to the backs of humpback and minke whales. The video which helps scientists study and protects the whale feeding areas could be viewed below.
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