In Antarctica there is a hidden river, longer than the Tiber – Terra and Puli

Under the ice of Antarctica flows a great river longer than the Tiber, which is 460 kilometers long and is part of a huge network of lakes and great rivers, much larger than expected and almost the size of half of Europe. It’s not just a curiosity because hidden waterways can play an important role in the snowmelt process. This is indicated by the study coordinated by Imperial College London e published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“When we first discovered the lakes under the ice of Antarctica two decades ago, we thought they were isolated from each other. Now we are beginning to understand that there are whole systems out there, interconnected by vast river networks. Just as they could if there weren’t thousands of feet of ice on them,” he noted. One of the study’s authors, Martin Siegert of Imperial College.

Until now, it was believed that, unlike in Greenland, there were no conditions in Antarctica for the existence of a real network of rivers hidden under the ice. However, using on-board radar systems, it was possible to observe the ice depths and discover a real network with long rivers, one of which is longer than our Tiber. A better understanding of melt dynamics is critical to predicting impacts on global climate change and sea level: “The area on which this study is based—which was added to Siegert—contains enough ice to raise global sea level by 4.,3 metres. How much of this ice is melting, and how quickly, is related to how much the ice base is sliding. The newly discovered river system can strongly influence this process.”

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