Antarctica Under The Ice
Geologists may be the closest thing that science has to time travelers. Their work takes them back in time, recreating billions of years of Earth’s past through studies of rock formations, without ever leaving the present.
A new topographical reconstruction of the land mass beneath Antarctica may, for the first time, let them glimpse into our possible future. A warm, frightening future.
The British Antarctic Survey created Bedmap2, a detailed map of the terrain beneath the icy sheets of the South Pole. The permanent ice on our polar continent is fluid, mobile, and sensitive to our changing climate. Understanding its relationship to the Earth beneath it is crucial to predicting whether of our warming planet allows it to maintain its solid form, or if some of it could wash away into rising seas.
It’s a visit to the geologic future I hope we never take. More at NASA, including a fun interactive graphic.