38 votes

Antarctic and arctic meltwater is "bad" because it's dark, but why is transparent liquid on white stuff so dark?

Water has lowest EM absorption in the blue part of light spectrum and increases rapidly towards both UV and red parts of spectrum. As a result in visible light water is blue. Same goes for the ice ...
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  • 669
21 votes

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

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 ...
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17 votes

Antarctic and arctic meltwater is "bad" because it's dark, but why is transparent liquid on white stuff so dark?

"Transparent" is not the same as "white" : white bodies reflect most of the light while transparent bodies let the light though. Once the light enters into water, it may need to travel a long way ...
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11 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Can earthquakes contribute to Antarctic ice loss?

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 ...
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9 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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  • 5,892
9 votes

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

(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, ...
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  • 11.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Paleogene transantarctic seaway

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 ...
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  • 2,826
8 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 20.3k
8 votes
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What is likely to have happened with these newly discovered antarctic volcanos below the ice?

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 ...
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8 votes

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

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. ...
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  • 2,803
6 votes
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Why antarctic research stations are built above ground instead of on the ground or underground?

Antarctica is a whole continent and it is as diverse as any other continent. There are two reasons buildings are often built off the ground on pillars. 1.- Avoid snow accumulation: Although in ...
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6 votes

How do glaciers move? Could Antarctica be separated?

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: ...
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6 votes

How do glaciers move? Could Antarctica be separated?

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, ...
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  • 5,896
6 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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6 votes

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

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 ...
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5 votes
Accepted

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

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) ...
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  • 5,238
4 votes
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Simple way to understand these narrow frequency peaks in recently published "ice shelf singing"?

The wavelengths that travel through the ice have a faster speed of travel, and the physical size of the pressure variations that cause the sound are not 100 meters. It's more like 1 meter, so it's ...
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4 votes

But what exactly is "black carbon" in the context of snow-melting particulates reaching Antarctica?

This issue has been extensively studied and identified. A Google search regarding the particle size of black carbon will yield a plethora of information. Chemically, black carbon (BC) is a component ...
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3 votes
Accepted

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

First, we might want to distinguish between the different types of upwelling: Coastal upwelling: It is the best known form of upwelling. Winds in these systems flow parallel to the coast (with the ...
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  • 14.7k
3 votes
Accepted

How could this "aztec temple" mountain (or volcano) have been formed on Antarctica?

Remember that Antarctica is covered in a sheet of ice. Strip away the ice and you get something like this: (Source:Wikimedia Commons) This is the Matterhorn in the Alps on the Swiss-Italian border. ...
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  • 3,028
3 votes

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

I looked at trends in Antarctic sea ice extent in the satellite era from 1979 to 2015 for both the summer minimum (February) and the winter maximum (September) and did not find a statistically ...
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3 votes

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

Some new evidence has come out, with the investigated are extending from 35S to 90S. Some things were different than in the study from 2007. The Southern Ocean played an important role in carbon sink. ...
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  • 31
3 votes

Antarctic and arctic meltwater is "bad" because it's dark, but why is transparent liquid on white stuff so dark?

Water (solid or liquid) has some absorbtion. It is rather low for pure water for visible or near-visible light and that's why water it is considered transparent. But only to an extent - few meters of ...
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  • 131
2 votes

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

The ozone hole size changes according to the season. It is usually larger in winter because cold temperature Why is the Ozone Layer 'hole' more pronounced in the Southern Hemisphere? And in ...
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2 votes

Is Antarctic sea ice at record levels?

In my survey of sea ice extent for the same period (1979-2015) I found that the apparent positive trend in dispersed sea ice in the Antarctic in September is anomalous and possibly spurious for two ...
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2 votes
Accepted

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

From reading the literature on the subject, my impression is that we don't know that much on the subject, primarily due to a scarcity of measurements. My understanding is that the first and only year-...
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  • 5,238
2 votes

Young researcher hoping to volunteer for Antarctica fieldwork

Try the long game: Start reading up on the research that is being done. For the interesting ones, start corresponding with the authors asking questions about the work. They have to be good ...
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