46

Yes. In fact, there are sand-dunes in Antarctica [1:15].


21

Antarctic sea ice extent for April 2014 reached 9.00 million square kilometers (3.47 million square miles), the largest ice extent on record by a significant margin. Is there any explanation for such an extreme excess of sea ice around Antarctica recently? I'll give four separate answers: It's not as significant an increase as you think. The ...


16

The idea of a southern continent is older than the actual discovery of the Antarctica. There was an expectation of the possible existence of a Terra Australis balance the global landmasses and the theory went far back. However, those models were not based on true evidence but rather aesthetic arguments that later just happened to come true. In contradiction, ...


13

What you see are ice bergs frozen into a sheet of sea ice. The "chunks" are the ice bergs. Ice shelves are fed by two sources, ice from the interior of the ice sheet and ice formed by compaction of snow accumulating on the shelf itself. This means that a shelf can have very different dynamic regimes. Parts of shelves where ice is mostly formed locally will ...


13

Such forms tend to be created by glacial activity, which, ahem, the ice-covered continent is known for. Much discussion of this in the related question in Skeptics: Are there three pyramids in Antarctica? Here's the generic answer in Wikipedia: A pyramidal peak, sometimes in its most extreme form called a glacial horn, is an angular, sharply pointed ...


12

Antarctica is the ice sheet (cap) that will contribute most IF it would melt completely. The 2013 IPCC report (Ch. 4, the Cryosphere) provides an estimate of 58.3 m of sea level equivalent (sle). Greenland would if completely wasted away provide 7.36 m sle. Remaining glaciers provide an additional 0.41 m sle. The likelihood of Antarctica completely wasting ...


11

IceCube was initiated as the Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA) project. Since the sensor array involved drilling deep holes vertically into the Antarctic ice sheet by melting ice, no ice cores were retrieved. The bore holes have, however, been used to construct temperature profiles through the Antarctic ice sheet published in a paper in ...


11

This LiveScience article suggests the areas aren't major: The scant areas that are free of snow and ice make up less than 0.4 percent of the continental land mass. In places there, the wind has built sand dunes. This article by Burton-Johnson et al., 2016 on automated satellite analysis methods, summarized in this DailyMail article, indicates refined ...


10

There are two ways in which earthquakes could affect the Antarctic ice sheet, either by occurring on the Antarctic continent or by occurring elsewhere and sending tsunami-type waves towards the ice sheet/continent. Seismic activity occurs all the time on Antarctica. Particularly the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is located over seismically active zones ...


10

It doesn't stay frozen. Ice evaporates (or sublimates is the correct term) under direct sunlight, but that's at a molecular level, it doesn't melt, it goes from solid to gas under sunlight and in the cold, some of this newly formed water vapor goes back being to ice. In an absolutely dry climate, well below freezing, ice would slowly sublimate and ...


9

Is an iceberg the size of Delaware [6,451 square kilometers] actually remarkable, or something that just happens from time-to-time? In March 2000 iceberg B-15 formed which was 11,000 sq. km. and 295 km long. In October 1998 iceberg A-38 formed which was 6,900 sq. km. A Delaware size iceberg would be the 3rd largest in the past 20 years. The 1990 ...


9

Barnes & Hillenbrand (2010) argue that there is faunal evidence for a late-Quaternary trans-Antarctic seaway. From the abstract: We investigated biological evidence for past connectivity between different regions of Antarctica by comparing the composition of modern bryozoan assemblages from the continental margin around Antarctica. Surprisingly, we ...


8

(Note: this is based on what I found in literature. Sea ice is not my expertise.) Short answer: We don't know. It may be related to changes in atmospheric temperature, wind stress, precipitation, ocean temperature, changes in coastal polynas, or other factors. The usual way to explain observed behaviour is through models. However, models are currently ...


8

Probably the first recorded observation (and certainly one of the first) of the Antarctic mainland was of the Trinity Peninsula, part of the Antarctic Peninsula, by Edward Bransfield in 1820. Even from a distance, it's obvious that it's solid land. Picture source: swisseduc.ch It could have been by the fact that if you stand there you don't drift ...


8

Developing since 2014, the crack was projected in 2015 to lead to "the largest calving event since the 1980s," according to this report in The Cryosphere journal by glaciologists studying the region. From 2010, "Overview of areal changes of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula over the past 50 years" says that the largest break-up event in that period ...


8

Ice floats with gravity towards lower elevation, the flow continues until the base of the ice sheet becomes floating and the ice forms an ice shelf or icebergs. Due to the subglacial topography, basal melting and mass balance, the flow velocities vary over a large range, faster outflows are glaciers. The pattern is somehow similar to how rivers transport ...


8

That's a very interesting study, but only provide very rough information on the posible volcanoes that might exist under the ice. In the case of the volcanoes shown in the radargram I'll highlight some points that might be the source of your confusion: The tephra layer that overlay the volcanoes in the radargram was not erupted by those volcanoes. It was ...


7

The Australian and Belgian Antarctic research stations use local resources for their respective water supplies. Australia operates a number of stations. In the past, snow was melted but currently local melt water is processed and used. However, the Australian base, Casey, also melts ice and the Mawson base also melts snow. Getting freshwater in ...


6

First of all, the Earth does not receive heat from the Sun, it receives visible light that is absorbed by the surface of the Earth and then heat is re-radiated back into the atmosphere. If the surface is ice/snow, most of the light from the sun is reflected back to space. Sunlight will sublimate a little bit of the ice, but it is normally replenished at a ...


6

According to "Permafrost, active-layer dynamics and periglacial environments of continental Antarctica" South African Journal of Science 98. pages 82-90: Only 25% of Antarctica has permafrost, as the material beneath thick ice sheets is not permafrost. The deepest permafrost occurs where there is no ice sheet. The deepest permafrost in the Antarctic is ...


6

Glaciology is a large field of research, and I cannot include all aspects in a short answer. I'll try to give some concepts that can help you in your understanding of the cryosphere. Glaciers are, per definition, moving due to gravity towards lower altitudes. There are some exceptions, e.g. rock glaciers are the stagnant remain of a moving glacier. Large ...


6

Glaciers move by two processes: Internal deformation Basal sliding This figure (made for my candidacy exam), exemplify both processes as if we were following a single block of ice within a glacier: Basal sliding is when the entire glacier slides together over the bedrock, aided by the lubrication of ice water between the glacier and ground. Internal ...


5

Lyle et al. (2007), prior to the paper you mention, also came up with this idea that the ACC initiated with its modern setting (i. e. with strong currents and mixing throughout the water column) during the Late Oligocene (ca. 25 Ma), so roughly 10 Myr after the Eocene-Oligocene when the antarctic glaciation is thought to have occurred. Their evidence is ...


5

I think you may have misunderstood the abstract of the paper, which says: Various human activities, including fossil fuel combustion and forest clearing, emit about eight petagrams (or billion tons) of carbon in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. The global ocean absorbs about two petagrams of CO2, and about a half of that amount is ...


5

userLTK has explained that not all of the ice in the Antarctic stays frozen all the time. But perhaps there's a more basic view needed : sunlight in temperate areas melts all of the ice quite quickly, so why doesn't the same happen in Antarctica? There are a number of reasons, but the simplest (and probably most important?) is one of geometry, and the way ...


5

There are two studies published in 2013 that provide the most recent updates on this balance Depoorter, M.A. and 6 others, 2013. Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves. Nature, 502, 89–92, (03 October 2013), doi:10.1038/nature12567 Rignot, E. and 3 others, 2013. Ice-Shelf Melting Around Antarctica. Science, 341, 6143, 266-270, (...


5

I can't imagine a moving object more suitable for remote sensing tracking than Iceberg A-68, with such slow displacement and huge size. So I don't think it will be particularly useful to install any instrumentation to track its position on site. However, there would be plenty of other measurements that can be done, about mass balance, stress fields, etc. I'...


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