Sensors track warm water under Pine Island Glacier

By on September 19, 2013
A nascent iceberg breaks off Pine Island Glacier's calving front. (Credit: NASA)

A nascent iceberg breaks off Pine Island Glacier's calving front. (Credit: NASA)

The Pine Island Glacier has long been of particular interest to climate scientists, according to NBC News. The glacier is one of the most rapidly melting ice masses in the world.

Warm seawater has flowed beneath the glacier’s ice shelf for quite some time, but researchers wanted to know just how much melting that flow was causing. So they drilled holes 1,640 feet through solid ice and installed sensors that measured temperature, salinity and warm-water movement.

The collected measurements will help other scientists develops physical models of the melting process, researchers say. They are available in the journal Science.

Image: A nascent iceberg breaks off Pine Island Glacier’s calving front. (Credit: NASA, via Wikimedia Commons)

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