Antarctic Glaciers Sliding Toward the Sea

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey arrive by helicopter to study a glacier. i i

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey are hoping that seismic studies of the region and the ice will help explain the ice movements. British Antarctic Survey hide caption

itoggle caption British Antarctic Survey
Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey arrive by helicopter to study a glacier.

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey are hoping that seismic studies of the region and the ice will help explain the ice movements.

British Antarctic Survey

Glaciers in a remote part of Antarctica appear to be speeding up their slide toward the sea. One massive glacier, the Pine Island glacier, is moving towards the ocean at about 3.5 kilometers per year.

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey are hoping that seismic studies of the region and the ice will help explain the ice movements. Some possibilities for the instability of the ice in that region include an ancient volcano, or the effects of ocean currents far below.

The team spent almost 100 days camped on the ice this season, taking ice core samples and monitoring the movement of the ice using GPS devices. Their work is much more than a theoretical curiosity; glacier ice moving into the oceans around Antarctica has important implications for sea level rise worldwide.

Geophysicist Julian Scott of the British Antarctic Survey talks about the research team's work on the ice and its implications.

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