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Southern Antarctica has been a haven for climate change deniers for years. The amount of ice that surrounds the continent is increasing, unlike the northern Arctic, at the other pole, which is melting. There is more ice than ever surrounding Antarctica, deniers repeat over and over again. However, it is a half truth. Antarctica as a whole loses ice. And the sea ice that surrounds Antarctica grows, yes, but due to the topography of the continent and the shape of the seabed, factors that influence the winds and currents feeding a peculiar microcosm, according to NASA, in a context of indisputable global warming . The year 2015 was the warmest since records began in 1880.
A new study on the Langhovde Glacier in East Antarctica offers more ammunition against deniers. A team led by the British glaciologist Stewart Jamieson has observed the formation of almost 8,000 lakes there from melted ice during the summers of the period 2000-2013. Satellite images show that portion of the white continent dotted with beautiful blue spots. "Supraglacial lakes are known to influence the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and potentially cause the disintegration of the ice shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula [in West Antarctica]," the authors warn in their study, published today. Specialized journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Jamieson, from the University of Durham (UK), and his colleagues point out that the water from the new lakes apparently disappears into the glacier, weakening it and facilitating its rupture. In 2002, a similar phenomenon caused