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Questions tagged [antarctic]

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26
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2answers
7k views

Is there sand in Antarctica?

There's a song "Blizzard's Never Seen the Desert's Sand". Given Antarctica is a desert, someone questioned the title's validity. BUT is there sand in Antarctica? I'd imagine yes as it's a pretty ...
22
votes
3answers
592 views

Is there any explanation for the large amount of sea ice around Antarctica in 2014?

As can be seen from the below data, for the past year or so (2014), sea ice surrounding Antarctica has been well above normal. Currently, Antarctic sea ice is at an all-time record high for this time ...
19
votes
2answers
507 views

Is this 70km crack in an ice shelf of Antarctica remarkable, or a regular occurrence?

I've just seen the LiveScience article 70-Mile-Long Crack Opens Up in Anatarctica. I'm not sure if the title is a bit sensational or not, the crack is in an ice shelf, not the continent of Antarctica. ...
18
votes
1answer
148 views

Paleogene transantarctic seaway

Lawver & Gahagan (1998; 2003) hypothesized, based on sea level records and the isostatically adjusted bedrock surface of Antarctica, the existence of a Trans-Antarctic Seaway linking the Ross Sea ...
17
votes
1answer
378 views

Can earthquakes contribute to Antarctic ice loss?

I read about the earthquake that took place in Japan in 2011, led to some small calving events in Antarctica (link). So, it makes me think if there is a big earthquake near or in Antarctica, can it ...
17
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2answers
334 views

How strong can a glacial icequake get?

While researching Antarctic geology, I came across the term 'icequake' in the abstract to the article Seismicity within a propagating ice shelf rift: The relationship between icequake locations and ...
14
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2answers
862 views

How and when people first realized that Antarctica is a continent?

Recently I got startled by this question I asked myself and I can't seem to find any sources of answers. I have hypotheses about how it could have happened: It could have been by the fact that if you ...
13
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2answers
412 views

Is Antarctic sea ice at record levels?

Every time I read a news article about Antarctic ice extent, I don't seem to have a clear answer as to what the deal is. If I look at the February sea ice extent from the National Snow and Ice Data ...
13
votes
1answer
275 views

What is likely to have happened with these newly discovered antarctic volcanos below the ice?

The Guardian article Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet highlights a recently published University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences discovery and cataloging of over ninety ...
12
votes
1answer
268 views

Where does the biggest land-based ice cap reside?

I'm thinking biggest in volume, regarding which area of the planet will contribute more to a raising in sea level - were the ice in those regions to melt. I can basically think of to candidates, ...
12
votes
1answer
106 views

What geophysical knowledge have we learned by the construction of IceCube?

The IceCube is a particle detector at the South Pole that records neutrino interactions. It has lead to many fascinating new discoveries in the field of astrophysics (e.g., 1, 2) and it was awarded "...
12
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2answers
919 views

How deep is the permafrost in the Antarctic?

I tried in vain to find the answer to this question on the web, but all it would tell me was, "it is very deep", and "it is known as a thaw line rather than a frost line in the arctic and antarctic". ...
11
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1answer
240 views

Glaciology: odd pattern of smooth and ribbed chunks of ice in Antartica

At -69.184611, -68.124276 (just east of the Bugge Islands) there is a triangular ice shelf. On satellite images (as seen on Google/Bing maps) you can see it is riddled with --for lack of a clearer ...
11
votes
2answers
466 views

Will the Southern Ocean act as a net source or sink for atmospheric $\ce{CO2}$ in the future?

Some estimates claim that currently about one third of current human annual emissions of $\ce{CO2}$ are absorbed by the oceans. Some authors have calculated that about half of the global ocean total ...
11
votes
1answer
656 views

Active rifting in Antarctica?

The West Antarctic Rift exists between the Trans-Antarctic Mountains and Marie Byrd Land (see map below for reference) Image source: NASA The rift system is believed to be like the East African Rift,...
11
votes
1answer
255 views

Is there conclusive evidence for the Antarctic Circumpolar Current developing after the glaciation of Antarctica?

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is the continuous oceanic current that encircles the Antarctic continent, as is often explained in the literature as being the cause of the onset of glaciation ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

How does Antarctica stay frozen?

Antarctica receives heat from the Sun every day, so how does it stay frozen? I have some thoughts about the answer but I'm unsure of whether it is correct; I hope people here can clarify. My idea: ...
10
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2answers
1k views

How could this pyramidal Mountain have been formed?

How could this pyramidal peak have been formed in Antarctica? Little is known about it as far as I know but what is known is that its miles away from any existing plate boundary and its shape is also ...
10
votes
1answer
118 views

What is the age of the Gamburtsev Mountains?

The mechanism for the formation of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in East Antarctica seems to be a combination of old volcanism and Cretaceous rifting (Ferraccioli et al., 2011). While the ...
9
votes
1answer
110 views

How much has the total transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current changed over time?

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the oceanic current that flows around the Antarctic continent, has many links to weather and climate processes (e.g., Is there conclusive evidence for the ...
8
votes
1answer
312 views

The giant 6,000 km$^2$ iceberg A-68; will ground-truth telemetry supplement satellite tracking data?

update 2: FIRST images of A-68 iceberg not taken from a satellite in space but from the air are out. On this NASA Earth Observatory web page are areal images from NASA's Operation IceBridge taken from ...
8
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1answer
115 views

Dataset for expected sea level rise in case of massive meltdowns (Greenland/Antarctica)

Around the time climate change became a 'public issue' (let's say shortly after An inconvenient truth came out), figures started getting published about the expected (global) sea level rise in case of ...
7
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4answers
243 views

Considering how old the Antarctic ice cover is, why isn't it much thicker?

The Wikipedia article on the subject of the "Antarctic ice sheet" says that: The icing of Antarctica began in the middle Eocene about 45.5 million years ago and escalated during the Eocene–...
7
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1answer
113 views

What is more important in Antarctica calving or basal melting of the ice shelves?

Ice shelves are present along 75% of Antarctica coast and cover over 1.5 million km2. The two main processes causing mass loss of the ice shelf are basal melting and calving. Which of the two ...
6
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2answers
918 views

How do glaciers move? Could Antarctica be separated?

Consider the example of the Larsen Ice Shelf. Ice platforms are attached to glaciers such that they prevent surrounding warm air from directly melting the glaciers. This is an important aspect of ice ...
6
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2answers
631 views

Do Antarctic research stations use any of the local resources, like water, or is everything flown in?

There are serious ideas, if not quite yet plans, for space missions to the Moon and Mars to take advantage of in situ resources, such as producing oxygen for propulsion (e.g. for a sample return) out ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

The Role of the Antarctic Circumpolar Vortex & Ocean Current in Keeping Antarctica Frozen

An offshoot from the question how does Antarctica stay frozen? Do the Anatarctic circumpolar vortex and circumpolar ocean current play a role in keeping Antarctica frozen?
6
votes
1answer
242 views

Does the Antarctic Ozone Hole affect the rest of the world?

Sometimes you read about skin cancer and the ozone hole in Australia. But when you look it up the ozone hole is basically just near the South Pole, and maybe a bit above the North Pole (because that’s ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Why don't Antarctic waters have more upwellings, when Arctic waters are so rich in upwellings?

Formation of ice and hence more dense saltwater sinking happens in both polar regions, creating downwellings. Meanwhile, only a few spots in Antarctica have upwellings I refer to this image: https://...
5
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0answers
65 views

Relationship between obliquity, antarctic circumpolar current, and atmospheric $\ce{CO2}$

Hannah's text on the biology of climate change appears to suggest that forcing due to changes in obliquity can act in opposite ways in Antarctic waters. On one hand, "Low obliquity brings cool ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Why antarctic research stations are built above ground instead of on the ground or underground?

Many online sources stresses how much the antarctic wind is dangerous for the structures and for the personnel, yet most buildings I see are built off the ground. I suppose that is due to the ...
3
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1answer
723 views

Is it coincidence that Antarctica is centered on the south pole?

Looking at a globe, Antarctica looks remarkably centered on the south pole. Has the rotation of the earth had any effect on the position of the landmass?
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Simple way to understand these narrow frequency peaks in recently published “ice shelf singing”?

The Earther.Gizmodo.com article Scientists Discover a Weird Noise Coming From Antarctic Ice Shelf links to the American Geophysical Union video (an more importantly audio) (AGU) This is what an ...
3
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0answers
43 views

How Warm would the Earth have to get for any crops to grow in the Antarctic Peninsula/South Orkneys

I found some little silly speculation about settling Antarctica when it warms up, and I wanted to know the minimum amount the world would have to warm up in order for just the most equator-ward ...
2
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0answers
17 views

What (if any) “in-situ instrumentation” is on the Brunt Ice Shelf that will detect its splitting and breaking away?

The BBC News article Antarctic: No role for climate in Halley iceberg splitting says: With no-one on the ice surface, notice of any breakaway will have to come from automated in-situ ...
1
vote
1answer
307 views

How could this “aztec temple” mountain (or volcano) have been formed on Antarctica? [duplicate]

[Update: This was not a duplicate of the other question since the mountain shape is rather different. This was already stated in my question below.] This question is a bit similar to this other ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Is “Chasm One” the really the name of this feature on the Brunt Ice Shelf?

The BBC News article Antarctic: No role for climate in Halley iceberg splitting says: With no-one on the ice surface, notice of any breakaway will have to come from automated in-situ ...
-3
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1answer
84 views

Antarctica Exploration [closed]

Which parts of Antarctica are unexplored? What about the underwater world of Antarctica? Specifically, what information do we have about it? What is so interesting about exploring Antarctica when ...