Very rapid climate changes take place on Antarctica.
"Something" mysteriously warms Antarctica Ice and it's a dangerous process.
The huge 18-mile-long crack that was discovered at the end of last year, is still growing and it remains unclear what is causing the
sudden change in temperature.
Antarctica is getting warmer and the melting of ice is adding to global sea level rise.
"The Earth is losing an incredible amount of ice to the oceans annually, and these new results will help us answer important questions
in terms of both sea rise and how the planet's cold regions are responding to global change," said CU-Boulder physics Professor John Wahr, who
used satellite measurements obtained by GRACE
"The melting of the world's glaciers and ice caps, along with Greenland and Antarctica, pose the greatest threat to sea level increases in the future, Wahr said.
The Pine Island Glacier ice shelf is located on West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Antarctica,
and covers an area of 175,000 km2 (68,000 sq mi).
During the six-week operation, a suite of most sophisticated instruments were focused on the thickness and depth of Antarctic ice sheets and glacial movement.
A low-level overflight on October 14, 2011, the IceBridge mission discovered a large, 18-mile-long crack that had recently begun across
the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, one of the largest and fastest-moving glaciers in Antarctica.
The crack's shoulders are about 820 feet apart (250 meters) at its widest, although the rift stretched about 260 feet wide along most
of the crack.
The deepest points from the ice shelf surface ranged 165 to 195 feet (50 to 60 meters).
Pine Island Glacier and the growing crack. Photo Credits: NASA Goddard
The large crack is still growing. If everything goes well, in the next few months, the glacier will form an enormous iceberg, covering
approximately 340 square (880 square kilometers) of surface area.
The fast recession of Pine Island Glacier, predicted to be a possible trigger for the disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet,
is attributed to enhanced basal melting of the glacier floating tongue by warm ocean waters.
"Pine Island Glacier is losing ice very quickly, about six meters per year," said Michael Studinger of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
Maryland, which sent an expedition Operation IceBridge
to Antarctica in October last year.
The melting of glaciers and ice sheets adds water to the oceans, contributing to sea level rise.
Pine Island Glacier ice shelf rift (close-up). Photo Credits: radar.jpl.nasa.gov
(see more images here)
"We didn't expect to see such warm temperatures, and we don't yet know in detail what caused them.
But they indicate that Antarctica's climate may have undergone rapid shifts during past periods of high CO2," Louise Sime said,
one the scientists of British Antarctic Survey (BAS) investigating rapid Antarctic climate changes.
Credit: NASA Operation IceBridge Terra Satellite ASTER
In Antarctica, recent estimates show a sharp contrast between what is occurring in the East and West Antarctic Ice Sheets.
The acceleration of ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has doubled in recent years, which is similar to what has happened in Greenland,
Climate Institute, Washington, DC., reports.
Earth's glaciers and ice caps outside of the regions of Greenland and Antarctica are shedding roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually,
according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
The glacial streams are increasingly flowing into the ocean and melting of the large ice sheets may contribute to sea level rise, but as
projections suggest that the rate of sea level rise is likely to increase during the 21st century.
Geological Rift That Baffles Scientists Is Still Expanding
This huge rift can be clearly seen from space.
Geologists are truly surprised at how fast it developed, when a 60 meter long rift opened up in Ethiopia.
It occurred in the course of a few days, in 2005 and the rift is still expanding.
Mystery of Antarctica Deepens - Scientists May Soon Reveal The Secrets Of Lake Vostok
The Russian science team that many believed to be missing
is currently busy looking for unique alien life at the bottom of Lake Vostok.
Some think the Pandora Box may soon be opened. Is the world prepared?
There have been many speculations about what might lie hidden beneath the thick ice of Lake Vostok. Some believe there could be
ruins of an ancient lost civilization, or even a UFO that crashed on our planet long ago...
Fastest Wind Ever Coming From A Disk Around Stellar-Mass Black Hole Discovered
This record breaking wind is moving about 20 million miles per hour - about 3% the speed of light and may be carrying away much more material
than the black hole is actually capturing.
This is nearly ten times faster than had ever been seen from a stellar-mass black hole, and matches some of the fastest winds g
enerated by supermassive black holes, objects millions or billions of times more massive.
Extremely Distant And Exotic Quasar
It is an exotic and distant object, which has a velocity of recession of approximately 270,000 kilometers per second (!) or - 91 percent of the
velocity of light itself.
The results show that this quasar, known as Q1442+101, is among exotic objects receding from the Milky Way at tremendous velocities of thousands
and occasionally even hundreds of thousands of kilometers per second!
Very Puzzling Appearance And Trajectory Of Fireballs
In the middle of the night on February 13th, something disturbed the animal population of rural Portal, Georgia.
Cows started mooing anxiously and local dogs howled at the sky. The cause of the commotion was a rock from space.
Unusual Pulsar Or Alien Signals?
The pulse timing of this object is considered unusual.
What kind of phenomenon is related to this object?
It is the first time this kind of phenomenon has been observed by astronomers.
The "Cloaked" Star Was Difficult To Find
An object obscured by dust, and buried in a two-star system enshrouded by dense gas, is not easy to find.
A "cloaked" star was discovered after it ate a little of its neighbor. The meal must have given the star a bit of indigestion, because it
"burped" with a blast of high-energy radiation, which gave it away.
Black Gaps In The Sky Puzzle Astronomers
Very dark isolated interstellar clouds of very cold gas like black gaps have puzzled astronomers for more than a century.
Looking at the sky in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, it is clear that there are extremely dark,
opaque knots of gas and dust especially in the region toward the center of our Milky Way.
Invader From Another Galaxy
This alien intruder from another galaxy is in many ways different from other exoplanets observed by astronomers.
Located about 2000 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Fornax (the Furnace), the Jupiter-like planet orbits a dying star of
extragalactic origin and risks to be engulfed by it.