Scientists say the eruption of dormant Antarctic volcanoes under the ice sheets threatens to cause a rise in sea levels all over the globe. Underneath glaciers and ice sheets hide engines of planetary change that have slumbered for a long time.
Under the ice sheets are about 100 of these volcanoes that pockmark the frozen continent with the biggest volcanic region that is only two kilometers below.
They are clustered in the Western regions of the region, and it is the tallest volcano on land, which like the Eiger, is 3,967 meters tall.
Antarctic volcanoes sleeping underneath ice sheets
Scientists discovered a study conducted by scientists from the University of Edinburg in 2017. Claiming the frozen stretch is more massive than the Eastern Africa volcanic ridge, but comparing the Antarctic is less dense, reported the Express UK.
Only two volcanoes are active in the frozen continent, and one is Mount Erebus and Deception Island. Both are different geologically when contrasted with others in the world.
Geologists studying Antarctica reaffirmed that these two aren't threats yet but could be in a longer period. But, if an eruption does occur, it will impact globally.
According to Dr. John Smellie, a volcanology professor at Leicester University, said before that any volcanic activity could release a vast amount of meltwater into the surrounding seas, cited National Geographic.
Ocean levels are sensitive, and if the volcanoes heat up, changes will be inevitable, but not for good. Ice sheets contain vast amounts of water. There will be a correspondent change if an eruption of dormant Antarctic volcanos happens.
Volcanic activity could raise water levels globally
The Conversation had an interview with Professor Smellie in 2017, predicting volcanic heat with melt huge ice caverns that will create vast amounts of meltwater; as his analysis.
He said the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is wet, not frozen. Think of an ice cube on a surface. Meltwater will act like oil and allow overlying ice segments to slip and slide at a faster rate, cited the Independent.
The professor remarked that the geological formations help keep the ice stationary or hold onto. Friction from hitting the surface like a lumpy shape will have an amount of meltwater; each time movement occurs.
Danger exists if a cluster of volcanoes in West Antarctica's prominent 'ice streams' goes off all at once. This collective eruption will send record amounts of meltwater to the ice streams.
It is not a well-appreciated fact, but about 80% of freshwater is trapped in the Antarctic continent. Release it, and the waters will rise by 180 feet and create a new water world.
Scientists say it would mean near extinction for many flora and fauna on earth. These ice volcanoes will cause water to flow into the Ross Ice Shelf.
The series of changes will impact the earth but have a water planet. Also, fewer ice sheets will cause more volcanic activity that will change the frozen continent forever.
An eruption of dormant Antarctic volcanos will domino effect to something akin to the doomsday scenario that will happen slowly. So, keeping Antarctica frozen is an important task or the worst case.