A new study carried out by researchers from Belgium and the Netherlands has recently revealed that the ice shelf in the eastern peninsula of Antarctica is not as stable or pristine as what has been previously thought. In the latest findings, a mysterious huge 2-kilometer-wide circle was spotted during a routine flight over an Antarctic ice shelf in 2014. Consequently, the sighting has had scientists scratching their heads ever since as to what might have caused it.
The Mysterious Lake In East Antarctica, What's The Reason For This?
According to reports revealed by New Scientist, during the time when scientists have visited the circle on foot for the first time in January 2016, they found a 3-meter-deep depression with raised edges and, in the center, three moulins draining two meltwater streams. Experts believe that the features point to the crater having once been a meltwater lake, which subsequently drained into the ice shelf.
Jan Lenaerts, a researcher at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and lead author of the study, has also claimed that the research has shown that East Antarctica is also vulnerable to climate change.
On the other hand, as per Phys Org, recent studies have suggested that climate change may already have condemned large chunks of its ice sheet to disintegration, whether on a time scale of centuries or millennia. The floating, cliff-like ice shelves straddling land and ocean that prevent inland ice from slipping into the sea, it was thought, were solidly anchored. Previously, it was believed that the crater was due to a meteorite impact. However, since Lenaerts and his team has started studying the mysterious lake, they found out that the water-filled cavity had other origins.
Ultimately, Martin Siegert of Imperial College London who was not involved in the study has commented that the findings suggest that it was previously in East Antarctica which basically implies that further warming may potentially amplify the risk of ice shelf collapse. It was found that the findings were published in the journal Nature Climate Change.