Twice The Size Of Periyar: Researchers Found A River Between The Ice Sheetsa: Researchers found a 460 km long river, twice the size of Periyar. A river longer than the Thames has now been found in Antarctica. Scientists say that this river is likely to affect the melting of the ice. The research team also found that there is more active water flow at the base of the ice sheet than previously found, which may have a greater influence on temperature changes.
The river was discovered by Professor Martin Siegert, one of the scientists at Imperial College London, who discovered the existence of lakes under the ice sheets in Antarctica decades ago. “When the lakes were discovered then, we thought they were isolated,” he added.
The area currently contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by 4.3 meters. Water can appear beneath the ice sheets in two ways – from melted surface water percolating down through deep cracks, or from the ground’s natural heating and friction as the ice moves ashore.
, the ice sheets around the North and South Poles have very different characteristics. In Greenland, the ice melts a lot. In Antarctica, the summers are very cold. Until now, researchers had assumed that there was relatively little water at the base of the Antarctic ice sheets, but the new discovery has completely changed this. For the study, researchers in the UK, Canada, and Malaysia conducted airborne radar surveys that helped reach beneath the glacier. The discovery in 2022 suggests that Antarctica is still a long way off for humanity.
They added that the existence of large rivers under the ice sheet should be taken into account when making predictions about the consequences of climate change in the region. For example, in summer, if the ice melts so much that water reaches the base of the ice sheet, it can have a major impact on river systems. This has the potential to make Antarctica like Greenland, where ice melts very quickly. There are also feedback loops that can accelerate ice loss.
For example, if ice begins to flow faster as water accumulates at the base, this will increase friction where the ice flows on dry land, increasing the amount of water produced. We know which areas of Antarctica are melting and how much ice is falling, but we don’t know why. The extent to which the global sea level will be affected can also be predicted
Study co-author Dr. Neil Rose, from the University of Newcastle, said: ‘Previous studies have looked at the interaction between the edges of the ice sheets and seawater to determine how melting occurs.
However, some of these processes lead to the discovery of a river reaching hundreds of kilometers inland. Snowmelt cannot be understood without considering the full range of possibilities. Researchers are working to collect more data on all of these mechanisms. That way they can take their findings to other parts of the world.