Summer could cause a huge devastation in Antarctica. Researchers have found that meltwater is flowing across the continent of Antarctica and if the temperature increases in future it would cause major destruction. Many of the newly observed drainages were actually not new but the new footage recording projected that their existence is significant. Researchers and scientists from the Earth Institute at Columbia University recognized the Antarctic melt streams started back in the early 20th century.
Images and photographs of the surface water were taken from military aircraft from the year 1947 and satellite imagery from 1973. The photos exhibited 700 seasonal interconnected ponds, channel and streams. These streams ran 121 kilometers long. The channels spotted 604 kilometers towards the south pole and some of them 1,300 meters above the sea level where it’s rare or even impossible to have running water.
What causes melting?
Newly recorded drainages usually start near mountains finding their way down through glaciers. Glaciers are darker as compared to other snow covered ice-sheets and hence absorb more solar radiations. This causes melting of ice. The liquid water flows down through the slope covering the underlying snow.
Scientists think Greenland would provide a clue to know how these streams arise and affect sea level rises. Between 2011 and 2014, about 70-75 percent (269 billion) tons of ice and snow lost by Greenland to the oceans was due to meltwater. Larsen, another giant piece is cracking today and it could get separate at any time. Because the temperature keeps on fluctuating many newly observed streams have already made their way from the interior out onto ice shelves, or have originated on the shelves themselves.
Antarctica is already on the verge to lose its ice. Usually, the melt water ice refreezes in winter but this time it seems that its probability is much lower.