The Arctic region is unlike the Antarctica. Greenland, for instance, undergoes a climate rotation at specific periods of the year. When summer kicks in, the area is filled with various bodies of water. Melting is a natural process around these parts.
This kind of condition is not what observers have in mind when the discussion switches to the South Pole. Considering that the region's ice-cold temperature has been maintained for decades, it is alarming to know that Antarctica is melting at a rate faster than most anticipated.
According to Jan Lenaerts, a glaciologist at the Netherland's Utrecht University, points out that although there is thawing during summer time in the region, the number is limited. A new research in Nature Climate Change, which is collaborated by experts from universities in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, is about to change that belief.
A scenario on top of the Roi Baudouin ice shelf in the ocean-floating eastern Antarctica has shown a view similar to Greenland during the early part of the year. In the course of the investigation, it has been discovered that around a 2-mile wide fissure is in existence. The finding has also been seen by a satellite.
Further details reveal that the crack is 10 feet deep. In the middle of this flaw, a number of rivers and related bodies of water have emerged.
What is even more astounding is the fact that around 55 lakes had been found within the ice shelf. These water structures have assumed an englacial form which is known to be a compartment between the shelf surface and the base.
Based on the considerable number of lakes in the area, it has been observed that the ice shelf is susceptible to fracturing. Once the structure gives in, the glacier ice next to it heads quickly to the ocean resulting in the increase of water levels.
In addition, a microclimate has been cited to cause the vulnerability of ice shelves in the east Antarctica sphere. Powerful winds described as katabatic blow hard on the surface and wash out the snow that leads to the exposure of blue ice under. Since the shelf layer is already thin, rays of sunlight can easily melt the ice.
Meanwhile, a submerged lake happen when its surface freezes but its lower part remains liquid. This water form will be buried when continuous layers of snow pile up over it.
What is currently a major concern around these parts is the emergence of hydro-fracturing. This process involves a bigger amount of melted water that runs down to the base resulting in a slit that gets bigger and eventually breaks like what happened to the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen B structure in 2002.