Monday, November 18, 2013

Volcano under Antarctic ice may erupt, accelerate melting

via NBC News Science

Members of the research team that discovered the under-ice volcano drags equipment to install remote seismic and GPS stations at Mount Sidley in Antarctica
A newly discovered volcano rumbling beneath nearly a mile of ice in Antarctica will almost certainly erupt at some point in the future, according to a new study. Such an event could accelerate the flow of ice into the sea and push up the already rising global sea levels.
When the volcano will blow is unknown, "but it is quite likely" to happen, Amanda Lough, a graduate student in seismology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., told NBC News.
"At some point, it is going to erupt," she said. "Is it going to erupt in any of our lifetimes? That is not something that we can pinpoint."
And when it does erupt, she added, "there would be an increase in melting around the area. … You would add water to the system beneath the ice sheet … and that could cause that ice stream to speed up."

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