Satellite observations of Antarctica are causing scientists to scratch their heads. A gigantic lake at the South Pole is suddenly faded away. And it was not a small body of water, the researchers report, with estimates that the lake on the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica contained some 600 to 750 million cubic meters of water. water. About the volume of an estuary in Zeeland.
Of course, this amount of water doesn’t just disappear into the air. In this case, scientists say the massive reservoir may have grown too big for the ice cap below. Scientists at the University of Tasmania – who discovered the disappearance on satellite images – believe the weight of the water caused a crack in the pack ice below the lake, draining the water into the ocean below.
Because the water is no longer pressing on the pack ice, it has now risen 36 meters.
But why did the lake disappear? Antarctica becomes hotter and therefore more humid. Scientists see lakes forming everywhere and existing lakes are growing. Which changes the southernmost continent. Researchers in Tasmania believe that even more fresh water will disappear in this way in the near future.