Antarctic ice ‘may be more stable than previously thought’

March 5th, 2011 - 2:39 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 5 (ANI): Antarctica’s ice may have hung on for the past 200,000 years, surviving the last interglacial- suggesting the ice sheet may be more stable than previously thought.

A new study by David Sugden at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and colleagues studied the Heritage range of mountains near the central dome of the west Antarctic ice sheet, reports New Scientist.

The researchers looked at blue-ice moraines, where winds erode the ice in topological depressions, exposing the rocks beneath, in particular.

They analysed the moraine for beryllium isotopes produced by cosmic radiation, which accumulate in the rock when it is exposed.

The team found evidence that the moraines had been forming for at least 200,000 years, suggesting that ice has covered the area for at least that long and therefore survived the last interglacial 125,000 years ago. (ANI)

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