New Antarctic map shows how ice moves, can be used to predict sea level rise

Researchers map previously unmapped glaciers, a finding that will be useful in climate change prediction models. Plus, watch the really pretty animation.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

Scientists have created a really pretty map of the motion of previously unseen Antarctic ice. Using data from a number of satellites in orbit, NASA funded researchers at the University of California, Irvine created a first ever map of gigantic rivers of ice in the eastern Antarctic region. The map is more than easy on the eyes and may be a useful tool in predicting sea level increases from climate change, according to a NASA press release.

“This is like seeing a map of all the oceans’ currents for the first time. It’s a game changer for glaciology,” UCI scientist Eric Rignot said in a statement.

The map shows the speed and direction of how ice is moving in Antarctica. Watch the video to see how ice flows across Antarctica:

The flow of the ice was measured by satellite data from the Canadian Space Agency, the Japanese Space Agency, and the European Space Agency. However, researchers at the University of California, Irvine made sense of the data, using NASA technology. Using billions of data points, the researchers were able to get rid of cloud cover and other elements to get a clear view of what the ice flow looks like.

Rignot told The New York Times, "that one important finding that emerged during the mapping effort was that inland glaciers do not degrade solely because the ice beneath is being crushed by the ice above."

via UCI

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