Perpetually massive, liquid lake found under Greenland
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12/26/2013 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
As they teach children in elementary school, in spite of their names, the nation of "Iceland" is beautiful and a verdant green; "Greenland" is icy and remote. Their names, children are taught, were in order to throw explorers off so those who discovered Iceland could keep it all to themselves! However - a perpetually liquid lake has been discovered under Greenland, giving scientists pause.
There is a sense of urgency about the discovery. The consequences of losing the Greenland Ice Sheet could be catastrophic.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The massive, 43,500 square kilometer body of water is known as a "perennial firn aquifer." It remains liquid year-round despite the otherwise perpetually frozen landscape.
The discovery could have major implications for understanding sea level rise. According to researchers at the University of Utah, "Large amounts of snow fall on the surface late in the summer and quickly insulates the water from the subfreezing air temperatures above, allowing the water to persist all year long," Rick Forster, lead author and professor of geography at the University of Utah says.
Sprawling, the Greenland Ice Sheet covers roughly the same area as the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah combined. The average thickness of the ice is 5,000 feet. The ice sheet lost volume of 60 cubic miles, in 2012 was a record for melt and runoff.
"Of the current sea level rise, the Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest contributor - and it is melting at record levels," Forster says. "So understanding the aquifer's capacity to store water from year to year is important because it fills a major gap in the overall equation of melt water runoff and sea levels."
Forster's team over the past three years has measured snow accumulation Greenland and its variables from year to year. The area they study covers 14 percent of southeast Greenland but receives 32 percent of the entire ice sheet's snowfall, but there has been little data gathered.
The team drilled core samples in three locations on the ice in 2010 for analysis. Returning the following year to approximately the same area, at a lower elevation, two of the core samples came to the surface. Liquid water poured off the drill as air temperatures were minus 20 degrees centigrade. Discovered at about 10 meters below the surface at the first hole and at 25 meters in the second hole, the water proved to be quite a surprise.
"Although water discharge from streams in winter had been previously reported, and snow temperature data implied small amounts of water, no one had yet reported observing water in the firn that had persisted through the winter," Forster says.
There is a sense of urgency about the discovery. The consequences of losing the Greenland Ice Sheet could be catastrophic. If all the water retained in the ice sheet melted, it is estimated that the global sea level would rise about six meters, Forster says. Maintaining a steady watch on ice formation, runoff amounts and how the water is moving is critical to accurately predicting sea level changes.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2017
Parishes. That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.
A 7.1 quake has rocked Mexico City. Buildings swayed and people dove for cover, but there are now some reports of damage.At least 42 people ... continue reading
Hurricane Irma has destroyed two Caribbean islands, and claimed at least ten lives. Now, the storm is headed towards Florida where it will ... continue reading
Largest ever earthquake swarm detected under killer Yellowstone supervolcano as magma recharges Watch
Yellowstone is now the site of the largest earthquake swarm ever recorded with 2,357 quakes registered since June. The national park, ... continue reading
Today is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and Pope Francis has asked all Christians to pray for the Earth and the poor. ... continue reading
Hurricane Harvey may be the worst storm in American history in a number of categories. It spawned and turned into a category 4 storm within ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Trump speech rocks the NFL, protests spread, but who's right?
- In the Kingdom of God No One is Unemployed
- St. Finbar: Saint of the Day for Monday, September 25, 2017
- Daily Readings for Monday, September 25, 2017
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 HD Video
- Trump speech rocks NFL as more players protest during Anthem HD Video
- 50 years of Israeli occupation - enough is enough!
- St. Augustine
- Saint Anne
- st agnes
- saint monica
- saint catherine
- Saint Lucy
- saint clare
- saint rose
- st rose of lima
- immaculate conception
- st augustine
- st monica
- saint of the day
- St. Elizabeth
- john bosco
- st catherine
- st. cecilia
- st. paul
- feast days
- Saint Cecilia
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, September 25th, 2017 HD
- Woman photographs angel in flight, is it here to deliver a message? HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, September 24th, 2017 HD