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.
Maybe I could interest you in buying mountain view land? I can get you a very good pre-melt price.
My mistake, I read Artic in my hurry.
Thanks for not nailing me a new one with my idiocy.
You said — “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.”
Ummm..., while I do not agree with Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), one must be careful when stating facts to argue against it.
In this case, you’ve stated something wrong, which doesn’t help the credibility of the case against AGW. What you’ve said is true with ice that is built up in water (i.e., the oceans). If it melts, the oceans don’t gain in height (as in your example of the water glass with ice in it).
BUT, in this particular article, we’re not talking about a mass of ice that is submerged and floating in the water. Here in this article, it’s on land (it’s not like the Arctic, which is “sea ice”. This is “land ice”.
And — in that case — it *would raise sea level* — without a doubt. This is certain.
So, what you say is true with Arctic ice (already on water), but it is not true with Antarctic ice (the part which is over land).
Here’s a map of the geography of Antarctica...
Interesting -there is theory that Antarctica is Atlantis.
whatever...it makes a heck of a story!
Yes, I have already been whipped and run into the night with my tail between my legs. Thank you.
As they say in real estate, timing is everything. You're on!
How's the golfing?
At the south pole which way is east? To my right if I face north. What if I turn 90 degrees, is east still on my right? And how do I know I’m facing north, cause if I turn around I’m still facing north. Is this a Grenwich thing?
How's the golfing?
We have reached critical mass of DemocRATs in Congress and the Executive branches, and look how it's destroying US.
Antarctica is above sea level. Melting ice WOULD raise the sea level.
Given the doomnation between the Porkulus and watching ice melt, I pick the ice.
Your estimates are way under if ya ask algore.
If the Elder Gods went to so much trouble to bury it, DO NOT DIG IT UP!
2000 came - 2000 went. Still here.
“But the presence of jagged peaks might mean the ice formed quickly, burying a landscape under up to 4 km of ice.”
What kind of sudden flood could cause that?
Antarctic ice is pressure-compacted snow, not homgeneous ice.
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