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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 freeweed (309734) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:58AM (#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?
  • by keithhackworth (902524) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:14AM (#18067402)
    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
  • by danbeck (5706) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:15AM (#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.
  • by Viper Daimao (911947) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:20AM (#18067458) Journal
    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.
  • by Canthros (5769) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:30AM (#18067534)
    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 movement for a long time). As long as this situation persists, expect to hear a lot of those mostly-irrelevant notes whenever the talking heads can squeeze them in.
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:43AM (#18067628) Homepage
    I read last week that from the obeservations that the lakes are changing in volume the thinking is that they are connected by an extensive river system under the ice. I don't think it says but I would imagine that this may affect the plans to explore Lake Vostock, which has previously been thought to be a completely self contained eco-system but which may now be connected to a larger eco system if rivers do indeed flow into or out of it.

    I wander if these rivers do ever emerge from under the ice, you'd have thought they would still flow downhill and therefore end up at the coast sooner or later.

    Exploring these lakes and rivers systems would be an amazing experience, it's probably totally unfeasible to explore them with SCUBA equipment and also probably still very dangerous to explore them in submarines but I'd definitely like to see it done.
  • by deadlock911 (629647) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:52AM (#18067712)
    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 transfer system due to desalinization.

    In conclusion: when the news starts adding "these figures are not thought to have been caused by global warming" to the end of each weather forecast you can say we are jumping at shadows, till then i think the public should be kept more informed about what does and does not affect the world we live in.

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