Glaciers in a remote part of Antarctica appear to be speeding up their slide towards the sea. One massive glacier, the Pine Island glacier, is moving towards the ocean at about 3.5 kilometers per year. We'll talk with a researcher trying to figure out why. Some possibilities for the instability of the ice in that region include an ancient volcano, or the effects of ocean currents far below.
Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey are hoping that seismic studies of the region and the ice will help explain the ice movements. The team spent almost 100 days camped on the ice this season, taking ice core samples and monitoring the movement of the ice using GPS devices. Their work is much more than a theoretical curiosity. Glacier ice moving into the oceans around Antarctica has important implications for sea level rise worldwide. In this segment, Ira talks with a member of the research team about their work on the ice, and its implications.
Produced by Annette Heist, Senior Producer