Appearance of Thousands of Stunning Blue Lakes in Antarctica is Bad News

By: | September 3rd, 2016

Antarctica is made up of lots of ice in the form of glaciers, ice shelves, and icebergs. The thick ice sheet was formed around 14 million years ago.

But now, scientists have discovered that thousands of blue lakes on the ice sheets of Antarctica have formed over the past decade. A large number of ‘supraglacial’ or ‘meltwater’ lakes may be a sign that the ice sheet is collapsing.

Scientists are worried that the situation is similar to Greenland where the ice sheet has been melting at a faster rate…losing trillions of tons of ice between 2011 and 2014.

In the summer, when the warm air heats the surface, lakes are formed on top of the ice sheet. The lakes appear to be draining down into the glacier, weakening the glacier and making it more likely to break.

Climate change is the reason for the sudden appearance of these blue lakes. The melting ice sheet could contribute to an increased rate of global sea level rise.  As of now, scientists are hoping that Antarctic glacier will put up a fight.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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