Mysterious Crater Found In East Antartica Proves Extreme Climate Change

By Donna Marie Lapena Padua , Dec 21, 2016 01:09 PM EST

A mysterious crater initially observed from satellite readings brought up confusion among scientists. Initially thinking that it was caused by a meteorite impact, a group of researchers set sail to East Antartica and found out that its largest glacier is melting at a brisk pace, leaving the crater-like hole on the ice shelf.

The East Antartic ice shelf is becoming more vulnerable as the warm water surrounding it is causing the glacier to disperse, a group of scientists says. The Australian research team consisting of 30 scientists and led by Dr. Steve Rintoul is currently conducting a study where the experts collect relevant evidences to confirm the situation.

The lead research author has then revealed that the collected samples from the ice sheet confirms the true condition of the Totten Glacier. "We thought that East Antarctica was pretty much isolated from those warm waters and therefore was likely to be more stable," he said as noted by the Radio NZ.

"The satellite data showed that maybe that's not quite the case, and our expedition - the first to actually get a ship to the front of the Totten glacier - showed that just like in West Antarctica the water is driving melting of these ice shelves from below," Rintoul continued.

The Totten Glacier has been discovered by the team to suffer from flooding at the bottom of its ice sheet and is currently moving at a fast rate of 220,000 cubic meters per second. The warmer water, which is an effect of climate change, around the glacier's area is causing it to lose around 63 to 80 billion tons of ice with 10 meters thickness, Huffington Post notes.

As per research, if the Totten Glacier continues to melt this rapidly, it can split an area from the ice shelf as large as the state of California. This dilemma, according to the scientists, would cause the global sea level to rise up by 3.5 meters, hence covering more land.

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