British Scientists Map Antarctica, Without its IceBy Michael Frank on March 15th, 2013
Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed map yet of Antarctica’s landmass. Bedmap2 reveals a landscape of mountain ranges and plains cut by gorges and valleys much deeper than previously seen. For instance the bed under the Byrd Glacier in Victoria Land is insanely deep: 2,870 metres below sea level, making it the lowest point on any of the earth’s continental plates. And while there’s some good news here, since they’ve found that the volume of ice that sits a bed below sea level is 23 percent greater than originally thought, it also means a larger volume of ice is vulnerable to rapid melting. Scientists aren’t just fascinated by the shape and topography of Antarctica: Knowing its shape helps them predict how much sea ice is susceptible to melting, and how quickly that will happen. Via Antarctica.ac
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