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Melting ice in Antarctica has recently uncovered an unknown island

The melting of the ice in Antarctica has uncovered an island that had never been seen before. But this are terrible news for us.

For some years now, scientists have warned that the melting of ice at the geographic poles has been of such tragic that it has left a deep mark on the world’s ocean currents and ecosystems. But it has been during the last six years that temperature records have been increasing one year after the other, as a sign that global warming is steadily rising and has not stopped.

A few months ago, a major alert arose because both geographic poles recorded temperatures of over 86ºF, even though they are in different seasons of the year. While the north is experiencing spring, the south is experiencing autumn where, under normal conditions, the ice should gain ground until it reaches its maximum in winter. However, Antarctica shows alarming thawing trends that do not belong to the season of the year.

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In that sense, important ice shelves have been threatened, and even an accelerated spread of flowers has been observed in Antarctica, which speaks of the ecosystemic response to climate change. Many transformations are occurring on the planet, but speaking specifically of Antarctica, the thawing has revealed an island that had never been seen before.

An island that had never been seen before

Members of the Thwaites Offshore Research (THOR) project, a group of international collaborators studying the Thwaites Glacier, discovered an unexplored island during an expedition. Aboard the research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, they crossed near the Antarctic region known as Pine Island Bay. There they discovered an island that was not registered on the maps nor in satellite data.

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They realized that it was a region of dry land, i.e. an island, which was previously unknown because for millennia it had been hidden beneath the thick Antarctic ice sheets. However, with the advance of the melting ice, it has now been uncovered. The island named Sif, after the goddess of Earth and wife of the thunder god Thor, is large enough to be detected from space.

An alarming comparison

NASA later confirmed the THOR members’ findings and published satellite images of that region of the world. These images show a comparison of the years 1989, 2001, and 2022, when it can finally be seen how the Glenzer Conger Ice Shelf, located in East Antarctica, collapsed in the face of high temperatures. As a result of the dramatic melting, the island, that has now been named Sif, was exposed.

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Although researchers are not sure exactly when the island was uncovered from the ice off the east coast of Antarctica, they have said that it is a clear sign of the advancing climate crisis. These types of findings are likely to become more frequent as the years go by, as temperatures appear to be rising and will continue that trend if regulations are not met to comply with the Paris Agreement that calls on the world not to exceed 1.5ºC from pre-industrial values.

Text courtesy of Ecoosfera

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