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The ice sheets melt: Antarctica mark an island
THE RETREAT of the ice is not good news, but this time he has revealed something unexpected. And' the mass of rock surfaced in the Pine Island Bay, Antarctica, discovered by the scholars of the climate of the Thor project (Thwaites Glacier Offshore Research aboard the RV Nathaniel B Palmer. They were the first to set foot on the rocky outcrop seen from the icebreaker, who is revealed to be an islet have never appeared on maps and called "the island of Sif" in honor of the divinity nordic of the Earth, the wife of the god Thor.

"After being the first visitors, we can now confirm that the island of Sif is made of granite and is covered by what remains of the ice platform,” he wrote in a tweet, the geologist marina, university of Houston (Texas, Usa), Julia Smith , that on February 11 he reported with amazement that they had faced together with his colleagues on the island that you think a time has been part of the platform of the glacier Pine Island, which, along with the Thwaites, today, is among those in the most rapid shrinkage due to the high temperatures in the antarctic. To "consume" these large plates are the oceanic water of the sea of Amundsen - always hot - that insinuates itself into the ice causing the dissolution.

Although the island has a mass that is visible from the satellite, explains Nature, so far has remained hidden thanks to the shell of ice that covers it. And because the area is a little battered by the ships, no-one had ever stumbled in the rocks that just barely beginning to emerge, and not only for the climate change act. The retreat of the glaciers in the west Antarctic has, in fact, exercised a pressure on the earth's crust to lift the mass of rock. A phenomenon that, if observed, as explained by the glaciologa of the exas A&M University – Corpus Christi University Lindsay Prothro , can help scholars to understand how climate change and melting glaciers are affecting the antarctic continent.

it is Not the first time that an island is "hidden" emerges from the glaciers that are retreating, noted Paul Cutler , director of the program of glaciology in the National Science Foundation in the Usa Alexandria, Virginia. Others have appeared in the last years in the canadian Arctic and in Greenland. But the Sif's Island offers a new opportunity to study the geological evolution of an area still largely unknown.

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