Technology: Why Scientists Just Drilled a Mile-Long Hole in Antarctica - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

TechnologyWhy Scientists Just Drilled a Mile-Long Hole in Antarctica

17:06  28 january  2019
17:06  28 january  2019 Source:   popularmechanics.com

Two technicians die at U.S. research station in Antarctica

Two technicians die at U.S. research station in Antarctica Two technicians die at U.S. research station in Antarctica died on Wednesday while working on a building that houses a generator for a nearby radio transmitter, the National Science Foundation (NSF) said. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

A team of scientists successfully drilled a hole more than a mile long all the way through Antarctica 's ice and into the sediment below. “There are gaps in our knowledge of what’s happening in West Antarctica and by studying the area where the ice sits on soft sediment we can understand

The British Antarctic Survey reports that scientists working in West Antarctica have successfully drilled to the record-breaking depth of more than one-and-one-quarter miles and reached the ice sheet.

Why Scientists Just Drilled a Mile-Long Hole in Antarctica© British Antarctic Survey What's at the end of the hole could tell scientists what will happen to the continent over the next few decades.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is an enigma. It makes up around one-third of the entire Antarctic continent and will play a pivotal role in the next few decades because it’s melting, and fast. It’s also unpredictable, which makes it tough for scientists to get a handle on exactly how fast that melting is happening.

That’s why a team of scientists decided to drill a hole more than a mile into the ice to figure it out.

Russia: Hole drilled from inside Int'l Space Station capsule

Russia: Hole drilled from inside Int'l Space Station capsule A Russian cosmonaut who explored a mysterious hole in a capsule docked to the International Space Station says Russian law enforcement agencies are investigating what caused the opening.

During Antarctica 's winter, a massive hole appeared in the thick ice, baffling scientists who observed this phenomenon twice in as many years. A polynya formed in the Weddell Sea in the mid-1970's for multiple years and was many times larger than the current polynya in Antarctica .

The British Antarctic Survey reports that scientists working in West Antarctica have successfully drilled to the record-breaking depth of more than one-and-one-quarter miles and reached the ice sheet.

Here are some things we know about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: The sheet is held up by a collection of ice shelves, which are melting pretty quickly. The exception is the Ross Ice Shelf, one of the biggest in the group, which appears to be growing bigger. Nevertheless, the overall ice sheet is still melting, aided by a collection of underground volcanoes. In fact, it’s melting faster than scientists expected, although other factorsmight be slowing down that melting.

If this sounds like a confusing mess of contradictions, you’re not wrong. Nobody knows for sure what’s really going on in West Antarctica. Part of the problem with studying the region is that much of the important information is buried deep underneath a mile of ice. Which is why an expedition has spent the last few months drilling the giant hole.

Scientists just launched a balloon in Antarctica that will study distant stars

Scientists just launched a balloon in Antarctica that will study distant stars We're all pretty familiar with spacecraft like the Hubble telescope giving us lovely glimpses of distant stars, but you don't have to strap a telescope to a rocket in order to put it in the right position to capture far-off objects in space. 

"It looks like you just punched a hole in the ice," explained University of Toronto Mississauga professor Kent Moore. Called a "polynya" — an area of open ocean water in the midst of ice — the spot was first observed in the same location in Last year, the hole mysteriously opened up again for a few weeks.

The long -imagined (but undiscovered) south polar continent was originally called Terra Australis Antarctica was not always cold, dry, and covered in ice sheets. At a number of points in its long Some environmentalists and scientists have made a call for stricter regulations for ships and a

As you might have guessed, drilling a mile-long hole isn’t easy. In fact, the team behind this attempt tried once before, in 2004, and failed. This time, they spent 12 weeks boring through the ice sheet with a hot-water drill. On January 8, they finally passed through the ice and hit the sediment underneath.

“I have waited for this moment for a long time and am delighted that we’ve finally achieved our goal,” said lead scientist Andy Smith in a press release.

With this giant hole finally drilled, the scientists can send instruments down to the bottom to study the sediment underneath the ice sheet, gaining a clear picture for the first time of what the underside of all that ice looks like. With that information, scientists can finally pin down just what’s going to happen to the ice sheet in the future, and (they hope) get rid of all that confusion.

Source: British Antarctic Survey via Gizmodo

Scientists just drilled the deepest hole ever in western Antarctica, going 2 kilometers down through the ice to study how it's melting.
Scientists drilled a 2-kilometer-deep hole in western Antarctica in hopes of understanding how the continent's ice is reacting to our warming planet.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!