Earlier this year, NASA satellites made an alarming discovery in the Antarctic ice shelf of George VI. Instruments recorded the presence of a giant thawed lake there.
Scientists at the University of Maryland and Space Center. Goddard argue that the melting of ice, as a result of which the reservoir was formed, can be considered almost the largest in the last half century. The length of the vast area filled with thawed water is 138 kilometers.
Specialists of the American space agency have yet to establish why the ice on the shelf is melting so rapidly. Previously, melting was provided by seasonal warm winds that swept the shelf surface with masses of warm air. There was also a factor of dense cloudiness, which reflected long-wave radiation back in the direction of the ice.
Glaciologists warn that such reservoirs can lead to destabilization of the entire shelf and increase the stress acting on their surface. Water seeping through cavities in the ice can erode the shelf from the inside and set it in motion.
We remind you that the shelf of George VI is 450 kilometers long, and its width varies from 20 to 70 kilometers in different areas. NASA satellites made it possible to collect data, according to which it was calculated: ice in Antarctica is melting at a rate of about 127 gigatons annually.