A vast network of rivers, lakes, waterfall have been discovered by scientists across Antarctic. After decades of satellite imagery and aerial photography, scientists have successfully discovered a large number of rivers and lakes across Antarctica. The researchers have earlier thought that these rivers and lakes are present only at warmer locations and mostly in northern parts.
Meltwater seen across Antarctica is released by melting of snow, ice into the ocean. Meltwater is found in the ablation zone of glaciers where there is not much snow cover. The water streams have been striking the Antarctica continent since decades and the researchers have identified them. However, this meltwater network was very vast and extensive in past.
The Presence Of Rivers, Lakes Across Antarctica
Due to global warming, melting of Antarctica ice takes place that leads to the rise in sea level. To determine the extent to which this water have flown across the continent, Jonathan Kingslake and his team have analyzed the past photos and the satellite imagery that was captured long back.
The researchers have successfully identified vast network of ponds, rivers, pools streams and channels that were surrounding the continent. The network of meltwater originates from south pole and is 4,300 feet above the sea level.
The research findings are published in the journal Nature on April 19. The drainage systems originate near mountains. These drainage systems are caused due to powerful winds which uncover the ice shelves. These regions absorb sunlight and hence the melting of ice takes place.
Drawbacks of melting ice
The researchers fear that in coming future the meltwater systems can result in complete wipe off of the ice. Such incident has taken place recently where the disintegration of Larsen Ice Shelf has taken place. Due to this, the ocean levels have increased drastically posing threat to our planet.
But the contradictory study conducted by Robin Bell said that these drainage systems have protected the West Antarctica to sustain the climatic changes.