Skip to comments.Alp-sized peaks found below Antarctic ice [Covered by 2.5-mile thick ice]
Posted on 02/25/2009 1:49:20 PM PST by MyTwoCopperCoins
OSLO: Jagged mountains the size of the Alps have been found entombed in Antarcticas ice, giving new clues about the vast ice sheet that will raise world sea levels if even a fraction of it melts, scientists said. Using radar and gravity sensors, the experts made the first detailed maps of the Gamburtsev subglacial mountains, originally detected by Russian scientists 50 years ago at the heart of the East Antarctic ice sheet.
The surprising thing was that not only is this mountain range the size of the Alps, but it looks quite similar to the (European) Alps, with high peaks and valleys, said Fausto Ferraccioli, a geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey who took part in the research.
He said that the mountains would probably have been ground down almost flat if the ice sheet had formed slowly. But the presence of jagged peaks might mean the ice formed quickly, burying a landscape under up to 4 km of ice.
Ferraccioli said on Tuesday that the maps were the first page of a new book of understanding how ice sheets behave, which in turn could help predict how the ice will react to global warming. Antarctica, bigger than the United States, has been swathed in ice for about 35 million years, and contains enough of it to raise world sea levels by about 57 metres if it ever all melted. So even a fractional melt would affect coasts around the globe. Unless we have a basic understanding of how ice sheets work, any sort of predictive model wont match reality, Ferraccioli said.
The team of experts from Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the United States also found water below the ice, using survey aircraft that flew 120,000 km. As our two survey aircraft flew over the flat white ice sheet, the instrumentation revealed a remarkably rugged terrain with deeply etched valleys and very steep mountain peaks, said Michael Studinger, co-leader of the US portion of the Antarcticas Gamburstev Province project.
The initial data also appear to confirm earlier findings that a vast aquatic system of lakes and rivers exists beneath the ice sheet of Antarctica. Geologists say that mountain ranges such as the Alps or the Himalayas form in collisions between continents. The last time Antarctica was exposed to such forces was 500 million years ago. The mystery here is that the Alps are only 50 to 60 million years old, while here we have a mountain range that may perhaps be as old as 500 million years, Ferraccioli said.
Miskatonic University must really be pulling in the international students these days.
They’re only 6,000 years old.
“...2.5-mile thick ice...”
According to current Climate Change “science”, if I drive my 400HP, 8 cylinder SUV the 15 miles home from work tonight at about 70 MPH, I ought to be able to melt a good 7 or 8 miles of that.
This 2.5 mile-thick ice shelf will be melted in five years, so we'll be able to see this amazing mountain range!
Can’t be. Cuz the ice down there is like all melted and stuff.
Great. Something else to worry about.
I should also add, antartica’s ice is growing, not shrinking, just like uranium isotopes constantly decay, they don’t enrich themselves.
What are we waiting for...lets dropblast the range so we can see it NOW!! We`re doomed anyway.
Why? It's never stopped global warming scientists before.
Not such a mystery if you accept the lore of the ancients about past earth catastrophes and what caused them
“Jagged mountains the size of the Alps have been found entombed in Antarcticas ice, giving new clues about the vast ice sheet that will raise world sea levels if even a fraction of it melts, scientists said.”
Well then, these scientists are idiots.
Fill a glass nearly full with water. Add enough ice cubes to float above the lip of the glass. Leave it out and watch to see if it overflows the glass when it melts.
And it's going to melt in our lifetime? 35 million years and it waits for us? How improbable.
Yeah, and it all Bush and Cheney's fault... them and their weather machines.
Antarctica is a continent, so the ice is on land, not in the water. If all of it melts, it will in fact increase the sea levels substantially. Ice that is floating will not affect sea levels, even if it melts. Sorry, but in this case the scientists are not idiots.
Shifting of Earth’s magnetic poles, ancient Vedic cities, the mountains of madness, varunas, underground seas, civilizations so old.......
In five years when all the ice melts they would be a great place to hike and ski. I can’t wait to make reservations for the first resort. Heck real estate would be a good investment.
Sorry to inform you that you are totally and completely wrong ( in the case at hand).
Your analogy does not work because the ice in question is located on land and not floating in water as in a glass. You are correct that ice in water displaces exactly the same amount of water as it will add to the glass when melted.
But the ice in question is not floating in the ocean but is located on land. If it melted it would run off the land and in to the ocean adding to the volume of water in the ocean.
Unrelated another thing would also happen as the weight the ice lessened on the land would cause what is known as rebound. The mountains would grow as a result of the ice no longer pressing down on them.
Good thing we have Al Gore to tell us what's in our future. He's so wise and caring.