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NASA Space Science

Lakes Found Under Antarctic Ice Using Space Lasers 77

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the space-sharks-still-in-development dept.
Reverse Gear writes "There is a new study circling the media about new lakes found underneath the antarctic ice sheets that apparently empty and fill back up quite fast. 'The scientists allay fears that global warming has created these pockets of water. They say these lakes lie some 2,300 feet below compressed snow and ice, too deep for environmental temperature to reach. However, it is necessary to understand what causes the phenomenon as it can facilitate an understanding of the impact of climate change on the ice sheet in Antarctica.' NASA also has some information on the technique used to detect these lakes."
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Lakes Found Under Antarctic Ice Using Space Lasers

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  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:37AM (#18066776) Homepage Journal
    Lakes can't use lasers. I can only conclude that the lakes are full of sharks.
  • ICESAT is Cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by lecithin (745575) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:37AM (#18066778)
    Here is everything you want to know about this interesting satellite:

    http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]

    There have been reports of people actually 'seeing' the laser as the satellite goes over:

    http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Oct-2003/0064.html [satobs.org]

    New water holes way under the ice. Fun. I wonder if we will find even more 'new species' as was reported here:

    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/1 1/2336230 [slashdot.org]
    • by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:47AM (#18066834)
      If you keep telling people about that soon NASA will be forced through a lawsuit to dangle a huge "Do not look into laser with remaining eye" warning sign from the satellite.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      New water holes way under the ice. Fun. I wonder if we will find even more 'new species' as was reported here:

      Of course we'll continue finding unknown species if we continue looking in the water. We know next to nothing about the oceans, and they make up a majority of this planet.
    • As long as there is no shark among these 'new species', I'm really getting tired of that joke...
    • The ICESAT website is terrible! Someone needs to call in a web designer on that...
  • Explanation (Score:5, Funny)

    by johnw (3725) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:39AM (#18066784)
    Presumably what makes them fill up is the heat from the lasers?

    Heisenberg probably rules, OK
  • Fire! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by MECC (8478) *
    Fire the giant space laser!

  • by Timesprout (579035) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:49AM (#18066856)
    Sorry for the inconvenience everyone.

    Yours etc
    God

    PS
    Apologies also if you are on a planet I created with no lakes, shipping on these things is incredibly slow.
  • The sooner we accept the fact that the climate will not agree with humanity for the next few good number of generations, the sooner we can get back to discussing the inequities of modern civilization.
    • Well that's a really gloomy attitude. I'm sure there's a technilogical magic bullet for the problem just waiting to be discovered. :-/
    • by fishthegeek (943099) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:19AM (#18067454) Journal
      I didn't see a sarcasm tag so I'm forced to conclude that you're serious. Humanity, in all of its faulty glory IS NOT THE CAUSE of temperature change. Repeat after me... "Global warming as caused by human influence is a media driven, grant driven, highly suspect piece of junk science."

      Now on to the sitations...

      Mars is experiencing the SAME rate of warming that earth is. No possible human cause.
      http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars_ice-a ge_031208.html
      http://www.heartland.org/Article.c fm?artId=17977

      From the 40's through the 70's the concern was global cooling. In a nutshell earths temperatures declined right at the point when emissions for the most part were the worst.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

      Note that as of 2002 we were complaining about Antartica's cooling temperatures. Someone forgot to inform the Antartica Temperature Management Team that they were supposed to turn UP the thermostat so that Antartica could conform to the computer models.
      http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20020015034521d ata_trunc_sys.shtml

      As late as the 14th and 15th centuries there were frickin' dairy farms on the coast of greenland! Warm enough at that time for frickin dairy farms but lo' there was a mini ice age and it killed them off. Geenland isn't as warm now as it was just a few hundred years ago!
      https://conservationfinance.wordpress.com/2006/0 9/01/climate-change-on-greenland/

      Satellite (read: stratospheric) temperature readings do NOT show ANY appreciable difference in the atmospheric temperatures
      http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/MSU/msusci.html

      I am way too lazy to keep typing tags. Humans do not cause global warming. Now that I've trolled, flamed, and generally irritated people by saying this, I humbly accept the karma beating I am about to take. That's okay, I can creat another account :-)
      • by zerosix (962914)
        Finally someone with some common sence, I get tired of everyone atributing global warming to humans. Earth goes through natrual stages of warmth and cold. Is earth warming, quite possibly but no we didn't cause it.
      • by Browzer (17971)
        Who said anything about the cause of the problem? The point was the effect, which is gloomy, regardless who/what the causes are/were! Agree?

        Actually, the more I think about it and put things into perspective, I wonder if the problem itself is even an issue in the grand scheme of things... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot [wikipedia.org]

        Imagine, one less speck!

        Sarcasm? I think not!

         
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:25PM (#18071512)

        Mars is experiencing the SAME rate of warming that earth is. No possible human cause.
        Where are you getting the "same rate" from - it isn't in the NASA page. Furthermore, the exact rate is irrelevant as we are different distances from the sun and have completely different atmospheres. What would be relevent is if the change in rate was the same but we don't have adequate an temperature history of Mars to know that. I'm not too suprised that Mars is warming right now, as ice ages are linked at least partially to solar cycles, and Mars has the same sun as us. However, extensive measurement of solar activity shows that it alone cannot account for the increases in total thermal energy we are seeing.

        From the 40's through the 70's the concern was global cooling. In a nutshell earths temperatures declined right at the point when emissions for the most part were the worst.
        Yes, and it was a concern. Particulate emissions were causing localized solar blocking leading to decreased temperature. This peaked as particulate emissions peaked and is no longer a significant issue now that most industrialized countries have strict particulate emissions standards. It is a completely orthogonal issue to the green house effect.

        Note that as of 2002 we were complaining about Antartica's cooling temperatures. Someone forgot to inform the Antartica Temperature Management Team that they were supposed to turn UP the thermostat so that Antartica could conform to the computer models.
        Local temperature decreases do not imply global trends. Furthermore, nowhere in that article did anyone claim that this cooling was inconsistant with global warming predictions as you insinuate.

        As late as the 14th and 15th centuries there were frickin' dairy farms on the coast of greenland! Warm enough at that time for frickin dairy farms but lo' there was a mini ice age and it killed them off. Geenland isn't as warm now as it was just a few hundred years ago!
        Yep, and it is coming back. No one is worried about that - they are concerned because it looks very much like the temperature is going to rise well beyond what it was in the 14th and 15th century.

        Satellite (read: stratospheric) temperature readings do NOT show ANY appreciable difference in the atmospheric temperatures
        In the lower stratosphere and lower toposphere. The surface temperature, and upper stratospheres, however do show warming trends - as the page you links says!!

        Now that I've trolled, flamed, and generally irritated people by saying this, I humbly accept the karma beating I am about to take.
        I don't know if you are trolling or not, but yes your comment is misinformed and should be modded down.
      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        Mars is experiencing the SAME rate of warming that earth is. No possible human cause.

        Funny how the word you caps-locked is the one that is the most utter bullshit that neither of your articles even begins to support. Your second article even has to admit that current research shows the sun (the presumed common non-anthropogenic factor for earth and mars) only accounts for 10-30% of the warming on earth.

        But then again what was I expecting from someone who says "Repeat after me" rather than "Read up on curre
  • AVP (Score:2, Funny)

    by otacon (445694)
    Isn't that how Alien vs. Predator started?
  • serious question ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by boxlight (928484)
    Serious question ...

    Is it possible these lake were always there? Where is the evidence that these lake are a new thing and are caused by global warming?
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      RTFA. Actually, the CLAIM is that they have been there for a long time. This is not evidence for global warming. However, knowing the water cycle in the antartic is important for building better models which could help understand global warming,
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by KokorHekkus (986906)
      If you read the article you will see that they are just warding of any coming questions about global warming causing the subglacial lakes. There are over hundred known subglacial lakes in Antarctica with Lake Vostok being the largest one being 250 km long and 50 km wide ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Vostok [wikipedia.org] )
    • The scientists allay fears that global warming has created these pockets of water.

      Big word: Allay. Still, lessen the intensity of or calm - "The news eased my conscience"; "still the fears"
    • There are noscientific claims that this is linked to global warming. The CNN article on this even had an "executive summary" that said this (sorry can't find url).
  • by freeweed (309734) on Monday February 19, 2007 @09:58AM (#18067274)
    The scientists allay fears that global warming has created these pockets of water.

    Without taking a side on the issue, does every natural event have to be compared against the global warming checklist now?

    It's like when there's a gas leak (or something equally trivial) in someone's house. The news immediately has to comment that "at this time, authorities say there is no reason to suspect terrorism".

    Have we finished jumping at shadows yet?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I was just wondering that, too. TFA specifically says "they say these lakes lie some 2,300 feet below compressed snow and ice, too deep for environmental temperature to reach," so how the heck does Global Warming affect this? It it was global warming, the ice on TOP would melt - not the ice on BOTTOM! I would more likely suspect it's due to friction of the sliding ice or heat generated from within the Earth (such as volcanic activity).

      Keith
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Viper Daimao (911947)
      Plus from what I understand, there is no warming in Antarctica [eurekalert.org].

      A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Correct. The new IPCC report (only the policymaker summary has been released) notes that very little warming (if any) has occurred in Antarctica. In fact, they have strongly revised the potential sea level rises due to global warming from up to 20 feet or more in a century to up to 50 cm (best estimates between 20-50 cm). Antarctica is expected to gain a little ice mass during the next century (but decline afterwards). Greenland is expected to lose a little. The majority of the sea level rise will be d
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Canthros (5769)
      Clearly, the fact that some phenomena are exceptions to global warming is further evidence of the pervasiveness of global warming and our complicity in same. ...

      But, seriously. Global warming is pretty overblown, and highly politicized. This not just because of the economic effects that an anti-global-warming regulatory regime would impose, but also because of the political interests that desire just such a regime (for various reasons, but be aware that socialists have been very active in the enviromental m
    • by CmdrGravy (645153)
      I agree, everything in its place and all that. We've already had 1 topic about global warming today and with this potentially interesting topic the mention of GW in the write up is just uncessary and likely to derail any interesting discussion about these lakes into the usual GW flame fest which is a shame.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by deadlock911 (629647)
      It blows my mind whenever a global warming debate starts on slashdot.

      That statement does serve to reassure the public. When you find lots of melted ice, look for the fire. Also i wouldn't be so quick to say it has nothing to do with global warming. It may not be caused by it but large freshwater lakes held under ice have been the cause of major climate shifts in the past. Large freshwater lakes held in by glaciers have the potential to be released by melting ice. This can cause problems with the oceans heat
      • by adpowers (153922)
        I wish I had mod points right now because you seem to be the only sane person in this thread. Some people are so paranoid about "anti-industry, global warming socialists" that they'll get defense every time someone even mentions it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by roman_mir (125474)
      Without taking a side on the issue, does every natural event have to be compared against the global warming checklist now? - no, of-course not, however we cannot rule out a possibility that it is Usama bin Laden who is hiding in those pockets of water, if it ain't the global warming, it just could be the terrorists.
    • Agreed. Why take a fascinating story and link it to something else?

      The only connection this has is that if you're trying to quantify the effect of climate change on Antarctic glaciers you'd better understand how they move normally, and this work improves the models of how they move normally.

      Unless the article was trying to avoid creating a misunderstanding by heading off a possible misconception. Anything's possible, but some things are more likely than others.
    • by echinda (948608)
      But did they find videogames when they checked the laser's apartment?
    • by cbacba (944071)
      Yes and No. Until the time occurs again when the politics has been removed from science, it's going to be around. It won't matter what proofs are shown the alarmist industry will just shift focus to something else, probably equally erroneous.

      Towards the end of a Nova program about 2 yrs ago which was on the glaciers sliding into the ocean - after covering the science about what's going on 2000 ft below the frozen top where the bottom is melting - (evidently due to volcanic activity) there was the obligator
  • by trongey (21550)
    OK. You just know that a bunch of guys are out there trying to figure how to get a wet bike onto those lakes.
  • by danbeck (5706) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:15AM (#18067406)
    Step #1: Observe abnormal or extreme environmental phenomena
    Step #2: Locate a "scientist" willing to go on record
    Step #3: Ignore the basic tenets of science. (Observe, theorize, prove/disprove)
    Step #4: WE WILL DIE IN THE NEXT (insert your conveniently difficult to prove or disprove number here) YEARS! OMGWTFBBQ!!1!

    The very fact that this article has to assure people that these underground lakes have nothing to do with global warming should raise a few eyebrows. I can feel the herd of angry Moderators rushing towards me as I type this.
  • So what's the fishing like?
  • Wake me up when they find a meteor in one of them that proves our oceans were seeded by alien bugs that rode a comet into our atmosphere.
    Of course, some spunky senator's daughter that works for NSA will probably figure it all out to be a farce. And fall in love. But .. what can you do ?
  • by D-Fens (176301)
    You'll awaken the Old Ones.
  • So, if there are large lakes in the Anartic, that need refilling - then perhaps it's already dumping more fresh water into the oceans naturally than we originally thought. If so, this is good news for us humans. One of the major fears of global warming has been the desalinization of the oceans and the disrupting of the normal ocean currents -leading to massive global cooling. If the ice caps are already desalinating faster than we thought, perhaps we have more time than we thought to sort this whole warming
  • Space Lasers... Is there anything they can't do?
  • Some of the 'lakes' are huge, possibly the size of Lake Ontario:
    Joint NASA Study Reveals Leaks in Antarctic `Plumbing System` [newsblaze.com]

    It says - The research team combined images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite and data from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on NASA's Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) to unveil a multi-dimensional view.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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