Scientists Detect Four Hidden Lakes, Shrinking under West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier
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Scientists Detect Four Hidden Lakes, Shrinking under West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier

A team of international researchers, by using some satellite-backed data have discovered some hidden lakes under one of world’s fastest moving glacier on the rim of West Antarctica. Surprisingly, the hidden lakes are shrinking at an unparalleled rate, and soon they will turn into a large ocean, warns the new research conducted by researchers from the University of Washington (UW) and the UK’s University of Edinburgh.

According to the new study, the researchers from the UK and UK discovered four interconnected and concealed lakes under West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier – world’s fastest-moving glacier. In their eight-month phase of research from June 2013 and January 2014, the researchers found the lakes to be melting at an unparalleled rate. During the period of from June 2013 to January 2014, the analysts found glaciers spreading out by nearly 10 percent, revealing that the Thwaites glacier long-term enlargement to be backed by its underneath water portion.

In the study, scientists also show that the Thwaites Glacier – which is already one of the earth’s fastest-melting glaciers – located on the rim of West Antarctica is unstoppably descending into the ocean, attributable to the tempered seawater flowing at its base. A team of scientists at the University Of Washington (UW) in the US and the University of Edinburgh in the UK took the data sourced from the European Space Agency (ESA)’s CryoSat-2 for identifying the unexpected drainage of large lakes underneath Thwaites Glacier. They found that the warmer water flow coming from the beneath of the glacier to be the primary cause behind this unstoppable sliding of ice sheets into the ocean.

The researchers used a new scientific method for conducting the study and discovering the drops presented at the surface of the glacier up to 70 feet, more than a 20 km by 40 km area. During the period of research, the highest drainage rate of the lakes was nearly 240 cubic meters/per second, which is the largest melt-water depletion yet reported for this particular region. A previously held study also has warned the Glacier to collapse within 200 to 900 years, resulting in the rise in sea level by 2 feet.