The Australian

Antarctic sea water shows ‘no sign’ of warming
The Australian

SEA water under an East Antarctic ice shelf showed no sign of higher temperatures despite fears of a thaw linked to global warming that could bring higher world ocean levels, first tests showed yesterday.

Sensors lowered through three holes drilled in the Fimbul Ice Shelf showed the sea water is still around freezing and not at higher temperatures widely blamed for the break-up of 10 shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula, the most northerly part of the frozen continent in West Antarctica.

« The water under the ice shelf is very close to the freezing point, » Ole Anders Noest of the Norwegian Polar Institute wrote after drilling through the Fimbul, which is between 250m and 400m thick. « This situation seems to be stable, suggesting that the melting under the ice shelf does not increase, » he wrote of the first drilling cores.

The Institute said the water under the Fimbul was about -2.05C. Salty water freezes at a slightly lower temperature than fresh water. And it was slightly icier than estimates in a regional model for Antarctica, head of the Norwegian Polar Institute’s Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems, Nalan Koc, said.

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