Scientists have discovered a network of lakes beneath the largest glacier in East Antarctica, a finding that may be critical in predicting how the melting of polar ice will change the world’s oceans in the future.
- Scientist from Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has undertaken seismic studies on the Totten glacier to find out if there is bedrock or water, as subglacial lakes or ocean, under the ice.
- They say that these massive subglacial lakes can alter estimates of sea level rise in the Antarctic.
- The landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body to assess the science of climate change, unleashed their Special Report, which came last year on the impact of global warming reaching 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels predicts a worst-case scenario that could see global sea levels rise by up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) by the end of the century.
- But, those estimates did not factor in the increased discharge of ice from Antarctic glaciers due to climate change, and more research like this was needed to better predict the rate at which this occurs.