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Published: Monday 19 August, 2013

canada coats women canada coats women ´╗┐Drilling of lakes under Antarctic may give clues to sea rise

OSLO: A British plan to drill into a sunless lake deep under Antarcticas ice in December could show the risks of quicker sea level rise caused by climate change, scientists said on Friday.

Sediments on the bed of Lake Ellsworth, which is several hundred metres yards below sea level and buried under 3 km 1.6 miles of ice, may include bits of ancient seashells that could be dated to reveal when the ice sheet last broke up.

Experts say the West Antarctic ice sheet over the lake contains enough ice to raise world sea levels by 35 metres if it ever broke up a threat to lowlying areas from Bangladesh to Florida, from Buenos Aires canada coats women to Shanghai. Society needs to know the risk of a collapse, of the ice sheet, said Martin Siegert, of the University of Bristol and principal investigator for the mission that will also look for unknown life forms in a rivalry with Russian canada coats women and US scientists.

There are 360 known subglacial lakes in Antarctica formed by heat from the Earth melting the bottom of the ice. One way to find out the risks of collapse is to know when it last happened, he said of the mission that has been in the planning stages for 16 years. We are finally ready to hit the go button, he said.

We set foot on the ice again in October and hope to bring samples to the surface in December 2012, Chris Hill, programme manager at the British Antarctic Survey, said in a statement. Siegert said no one knew the age of the West Antarctic ice. It might have broken up in naturally warmer periods about 125,000 years ago, 440,000 years ago or a million years ago all times when sea levels were higher than today.

Most worrying would be if the ice collapsed in the Eemian period 125,000 years ago when temperatures were slightly higher than now, hippopotamuses bathed in the Rhine and world sea levels were 4 to 6 metres higher than today. That could be a sign that the ice sheet was very vulnerable to a collapse caused by manmade emi canada coats women ssions of greenhouse gases.

Most scientists reckon that Greenland, with enough ice to raise world sea levels by 7 metres if it thawed over hundreds of years, is more vulnerable than West Antarctica.

The far bigger East Antarctic ice sheet, with enough ice to raise sea levels by more than 50 metres, is coldest and most stable. Sea levels rose by 17 cm 7 inches last century but many scientists say the rate might pick up to a metre this century. canada coats women

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