Brit D-cell robot torpedo probes massive icy bottom
British and international boffins, having probed an Antarctic glacier which is thought to be a major cause of rising sea levels worldwide, report that increased polar ice melting may not be driven by climate change.
The massive ice river in question is the Pine Island Glacier, aka PIG to those in the field.
“Estimates of Antarctica’s recent contributions to sea level rise have changed from near-zero to significant and increasing," says Stan Jacobs of Columbia uni in the States. "Increased melting of continental ice also appears to be the primary cause of persistent ocean freshening and other impacts."
The PIG has flowed more and more rapidly into the Amundsen Sea since scientists have begun monitoring it, adding fresh water to the world's oceans. Like certain other regions the glacier is bucking the overall south-polar trend which has actually seen
hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of new sea ice accumulate around Antarctica in recent decades.
Many scientists have theorised that the PIG's accelerating flow is due to global warming. However, recent research - including surveys beneath the bottom of the floating, projecting ice sheet by Blighty's Autosub robot probe - indicate that this may not be the case. (The Autosub, famously
, was powered by some 5,000 ordinary alkaline D-cell batteries on each trip beneath the ice, getting through some four tonnes of them during the research.)
Cilck source to read FULL report from Lewis Page