Climate changing strikes again, with a discovery classified as catastrophic, by scientists. Two lakes underneath the ice sheet in Greenland have drained entirely due to the warming of the planet.
The dangers presented by environmental changes are just becoming more obvious. Researchers came across another disturbing result of climate change. Two lakes underneath the ice sheet from Greenland have been drained entirely.
Subglacial lakes are common all over Antarctica. Even though, scientists have used mathematic calculations to locate such lakes in Greenland, very few have been found.
The researchers were able to make the discovery by using satellite images and information from the Operation Ice Bridge, of NASA. The study has been lead by Ian Howat, professors of earth sciences at Ohio State, who described his recents findings as an environmental catastrophe.
The first lake, discovered by Professor Howat and his team, was portraid by the satellite images as having been intact for around 40 years, and was filled with 6.7 billions of gallons of water. However, based on more recent satellite images, the lake seems to have dried up, around 4 years ago, in 2011. The crater left, stretches on a distance of 1.2 miles all around and across, and has a depth of 70 metres, the height of a ten story bulding.
Images proved the second lake, way bigger than the first, had drained and refilled twice for the last two years. This can only indicate the high rise of water providing from the melting of the ice sheet. The process of depletion and refilling of the lakes with water, has caused the storage of a lot heat that might affect the ice sheet as well.
Researchers appeared to be worried about this phenomenon which cannot predict anything good. The fact that these lakes have been stable for so many years and dried in a few weeks or less, is an alarming signal of what’s really happening underneath the ice sheet.
These happenings are predicting only trouble, as for the last 12 years, Greenland has lost over 10 billion tons of water every year. The melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could bring a big contribution to rising sea levels around the globe.
A study on nature and climate change found that for the past 10 years glacier Zachariae, from north eastern Greenland has retreated 12.4 miles. Jakobshavn, another glacier in the southwest of Greenland, which has been named the fastest flowing glacier on the planet, has retreated in the last 150 years, 21.7 miles. This just demonstrates how big the difference between the north and south of Greenland is.
Image Source: Time