Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giant project to test Antarctic ice stability

10.05.2004


If rising global temperatures cause the ice streams of Western Antarctica to break up, major cities and agricultural heartlands the world over would be submerged. Researchers from the University of Leeds’ School of Geography are set to embark on a £1m, three-year project to find out exactly how stable they are.



The project, the biggest of its kind to date, will drill up to 2.2km down into the Rutford ice stream in Western Antarctica to determine its stability and see how close it is to breaking up.

There are about a dozen ice streams in Western Antarctica, moving currents of ice on the ice sheet which are hundreds of kilometres long and up to 25km wide. It is thought that if they begin to melt they could break up, leading to even more rapid melting and a disastrous increase in sea levels.


The researcher, Tavi Murray of geography, will collaborate with British Antarctic Survey scientists to drill down into the ice sheet using hot water drilling equipment.

They will take samples from the ice column, collect sediments to see whether there was sea rather than ice at any time in the past, carry out seismic tests and monitor the ways water flows under the huge pressures of the ice above.

Dr Murray said: “Ice streams are like plugs in a plughole and we want to find out what will make the plug bigger or smaller. We hope to find out whether the ice stream has been stable in the past so we can determine its future stability. If it starts to melt it would begin to float and we could see a catastrophic break-up.”

It is estimated that if the Antarctic ice sheet melted, sea levels would rise by 75 metres, submerging most of the world’s major cities and agricultural areas.

Vanessa Bridge | University of Leeds
Further information:
http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/498/s5.htm

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Sediment from Himalayas may have made 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake more severe
26.05.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History
24.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>