- Daily Mail -
Sea water under an East Antarctic ice shelf showed no sign of higher temperatures, first tests showed today.
Despite fears of a thaw linked to global warming that could bring higher world ocean levels, tests conducted on the Fimbul Ice Shelf showed the sea water is still around freezing point.
Thanks to sensors, lowered through three holes drilled in the shelf, scientists have discovered the water is 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.
Tests: The Fimbul ice shelf, where scientists conducted experiments on the temperature of water there
After drilling through the shelf, which is between 250 metres and 400 metres thick, Ole Anders Noest of the Norwegian Polar Institute wrote in a statement: 'The water under the ice shelf is very close to the freezing point.
'This situation seems to be stable, suggesting that the melting under the ice shelf does not increase.'
The findings, a rare bit of good news after worrying signs in recent years of polar warming, adds a small bit to a puzzle about how Antarctica is responding to climate change - blamed largely on human use of fossil fuels.
Antarctica holds enough water to raise world sea levels by 57 metres (187ft) if it ever melted entirely, so even tiny changes are a risk for low-lying coasts or cities from Beijing to New York.