Ice Ice Baby
A team of scientists successfully drilled a hole more than a mile deep through the Antarctic ice and into the underlying sediment. An achievement could lead to a better understanding of the future of sea-level climate change.
"I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and I am pleased that we have finally reached our goal," said senior scientist Andy Smith in a statement. "There are gaps in our knowledge of what happens in West Antarctica, so if we look at the area where the ice is on soft sediment, we can better understand how that region will change in the future and contribute to the rise in global sea levels can. "
The team used hot water to drill a narrow, two-kilometer hole through the Antarctic ice. They worked under conditions they said had fallen to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit).
The drilling project BEAMISH has been in operation for 20 years. A previous attempt in 2004 was unsuccessful.
Researchers hope they can study sediment under the Antarctic ice to better predict climate change The frozen continent will melt ̵
"We know that warmer seawater is eroding many West Antarctic glaciers," marine scientist Keith Makinson said. "We're trying to understand how slippery the sediment beneath these glaciers is and how fast they could drain from the continent into the sea. This will help us determine the future rise of the West Antarctic sea level with greater certainty. "