An enormous cavity two-thirds the area of Manhattan and nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) deep has been discovered growing under West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier. Considered to be the world’s most crucial glacier due to its sheer size and importance to the stability of the vast ice sheets that surround
Researchers in Antarctica have discovered that the frozen continent’s ice shelves produce an audible sound when the wind passes over the surface snow, a haunting song from a landscape that remains alien to the majority of us. The researchers also found that the "song" changes as the surface conditions of the ice changes — meaning that this Antarctica aria might become useful in tracking the effects of climate change on the ice at the bottom of the Earth.
A recent large-scale survey of Antarctica’s ice sheets has revealed that the rate of ice melt from the (mostly) frozen southern continent has tripled over the last decade, releasing volumes of water into the ocean on par with the freshwater flow from Greenland. Increasing temperatures from the air above and the ocean below has accelerated the melting of the ice shelves in West Antarctica, and overall ice sheet growth in East Antarctica has slowed. Additionally, the loss of ice mass in the south means that sea level rise will be more pronounced in the north, spelling trouble for populations living in coastal areas, including those of the United States.
East Antarctica’s Totten Glacier has been revealed to be more unstable than previously anticipated. New research has found that portions of the glacier that were thought to be on stable ground are actually floating on seawater, prompting concerns over the ice sheet’s stability, and its potential to significantly contribute to the acceleration of sea level rise.
Totten Glacier is a flowing ice field that is more than three-quarters the size of Texas, and holds a massive volume of ice that could raise sea levels by 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) if it were to completely melt.