National Geographic Daily News

Antarctic's Mountains Revealed By Sharpest Map Yet

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Christine Dell'Amore

National Geographic News

Published June 5, 2013

Buried under miles of ice, Antarctica's mysterious mountain ranges are coming into sharper focus thanks to a new map.

Created by the British Antarctic Survey, Bedmap2 drew upon millions of new measurements of the frozen continent's surface elevation, ice thickness, and bedrock topography from a wide variety of sources collected over several decades.

Due to technological advances, Bedmap2 is also higher in resolution, more precise, and covers more of the continent than the original Bedmap, produced more than ten years ago, according to Charles Webb, deputy program scientist for cryospheric sciences at NASA headquarters. Earth's frozen regions are collectively called the cryosphere.

For example, the original Bedmap relied mostly on ground-based measurements, which limited the scientists in terms of how much land they could cover, Webb noted.

But a NASA program called Operation IceBridge sends out airplanes that fly over the entire continent. The airplanes are equipped with lasers that measure the surface mountains' heights and other features, as well as ice-penetrating radar that maps subglacial bedrock—"giving [scientists] a more 3-D picture of the ice sheet itself," Webb said.

In addition, the new data has revealed several smaller features—both on Antarctica's surface and buried under the ice—that were missed in the previous Bedmap effort. (Also see "First Detailed Pictures: Antarctica's 'Ghost Mountains.'")

To Webb, "the piece that's exciting is that the increased resolution ... gives us better insight into what drives the flow of the ice."

For instance, scientists want to know the shapes of mountains and rocks to model how fast ice will move across these features on its way to the ocean, where the ice can melt and contribute to sea level rise, he said. (See pictures of sea level rise.)

Overall, loss of polar ice has contributed about 11.1 millimeters (0.03 feet) to global sea levels since 1992, research shows. Sea levels are currently rising at a rate of 3.2 millimeters a year.

Images courtesy NASA

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74 comments
Blyss Blyssylb
Blyss Blyssylb

...what is that Huge 'Ring'?  { [located at lower left quadrant of map]...it was obviously a phenomenom (from ? I don't know when) that occurred with such power...I mean it spreads from the mainland out to the shelf & drops down to the (deep) ocean floor! What created the 'Ring'...definitly not a Volcano, at least, I don't think it is...maybe a much older pivot/point?  { (axis rotation?)...Anybody?

Rob Hamby
Rob Hamby

What's the vertical exaggeration in the image?  100x?

Amalia Manaois
Amalia Manaois

I say that the World after the dinosaurs died became worldwidely catastrophic snow storm and the whole world turned into ice.  As time passed by, the weather got back to normal and became a tropical climate.  The ice melted in Africa first because that's where the cradle of civilization is is in ancient egypt.  It took Trillions and Trillions of years for the ice to melt and new animals and vegetation evolved.  Where did the animals come from?  It is said that we evolved from primordial primates as big as a man's hand and got bigger as time passed by.  Soon, there came black humans in Africa and they traveled to distant land as far as Iran and Iraq in the Asia Minor (West Asia) where mountains were still covered in snow.  There they evolved into white, jewish people with afro hair and tall noses (not flat noses like the African people) and stood at 5 foot 9 inches tall in average.  By this time, ancient egyptian culture flourished and the ancient egyptian civilization were at its beginning.  The evolved white, jewish people came down from the mountains in search of food and that's where they met the ancient egyptians.  They became friends first until they settled in egypt and multiplied.  As the Egyptian Civilization got bigger and more powerful, the ancient egyptians mingled with the white, jewish population and became the proper term - persians.  They were then became the new egyptian people and enslaved the white, jewish population.  As time passed by for a very, very long time, forever it seems, the white, jewish population were building pyramids already and their descendants became shorter in height, their hair straightened, their eyes became almond shaped, and their skin turned brown.  They were then called the new Persians (Native Indians of the World) and were still working for the Pharaohs of ancient egypt.  

As time passed by, places around the World, ice were melting and gave to new vegetation and new types of animals.  Lions, Bears, Tigers, Elephants were all still around in the ice age.  New civilizations flourished under the new Persians and Jews who were freed from ancient egypt by Moses and his team of family and friends and the Archangel, Gabriel who is our trusted protector, provider, and leader of this side of the multi-verse realms.

The Angels and Oxen Gods and Goddesses are our protectors, providers, and leaders of their own respective multi-verse realms.  A realm is a window in space that opens up to another space and time continuum. 

Back to Earth, the Persians and Jews were transformed into Caucasian, white people by the Angels and Oxen Gods and Goddesses and now, we are all one family of humans. 


Source:  Archangel, Gabriel aka Ada Borstein, leader of the planet, commander of the ancient egyptian hosts, leader of legions and legions of Angels, friend of Amy (Amalia Manaois).


Amalia Manaois, Portland State University, BS Biology/Physiology, 1997  

Babu Ranganathan
Babu Ranganathan

THE WHOLE EARTH AT ONE TIME HAD A UNIFORM TEMPERATURE AND CLIMATE. The Bible in Genesis 1:6 teaches that there was water above the sky. This condition doesn’t exist today because that water fell upon the earth during the great Noahic flood.

The water above the sky would have had a greenhouse effect so that the temperature around the globe would have been uniform and tropical, even at the North and South poles.

Please read my popular Internet article, ARE FOSSILS REALLY MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD?  Evolutionary dating methods are not infallible and far from accurate.

Check out some of my Internet articles and sites: NATURAL LIMITS OF EVOLUTION, WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2nd Edition), NO HALF-EVOLVED DINOSAURS, DOES GOD PARTICLE EXPLAIN UNIVERSE'S ORIGIN? THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

Sincerely,
Babu G. Ranganathan*
(B.A. Bible/Biology)

Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

 

Thomas Chamberlin
Thomas Chamberlin

“It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth's dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be left alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.”

― H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

Margo Dollan
Margo Dollan

Could that be an impact crater at the bottom left?

Thomas Knecht
Thomas Knecht

Poor Babu and Samerle!  I can't believe people are still trying to deny science with the creation nonsense.  Oh well, you can't legislate intelligence, skepticism, or critical thinking.  Long live scientific thought and reason...and may we one day bury superstitious belief systems.

Samerle Burleigh
Samerle Burleigh

I will check out that article! I believe the biblical account of creation and Noah's flood. Are you familiar with Walt Brown Ph.D? He wrote the book "In the Beginning, Compelling Evidence for the Creation and the Flood." I would recommend this book even to the most DIEHARD EVOLUTIONIST!

The idea that Creationism is just a matter of "faith" and not "science" is just not true.

Samerle Burleigh
Samerle Burleigh

I understand the whole "melting ice in a cup doesn't over flow the cup" argument. But what would be the effect of ice trapped on land melting and flowing into the ocean. I'm not asking to prove any kind of political point. I love natural science and would really like some answers that aren't apart of a political agenda right or left. 

Daniel Krause
Daniel Krause

With all due respect, that is an awesome map!!  Forget your populations and your politics.  The shear beauty of  this is amazing.  Thank you National Geographic for once again  giving me another map to add to my collection!! And for ruining my productivity for the day.....under the ice......surface ice......under the ice......surface ice......like a little kid in a candy store.

Eric Xu
Eric Xu

People around the globe are concerning the melting of glacier contributing in sea level rising.But  now let's calm down and think , what will the earth be once all glacier melted? of course the sea level rising will swallow lots of land. But melting also gives lots of land used to be coverred by ice. Though the globe climate will change dramatically, human beings can adapt to new situations.We still can run a life, a brand new life, that may not be bad. 

Nicole Butler
Nicole Butler

I have a question.  If the ice cubes in your drink melt, does your cup overflow?  Are not the continents floating already?  The weight of ice on the continents already contributes to the displacement of  water in the oceans.  Why would there be any water level rise unless the continents were sinking?

Lori Reed
Lori Reed

@Blyss Blyssylb That could be the remnants of a meteoric impact thousands, possibly millions of years ago.
  It could also be an implied curve, an accident of nature caused by subduction earthquakes that spurred landslides into the sea at those points.  It could also be unrelated river plains from a time when Antarctica was not at the bottom of the world and had a different climate.
  It is also possible that it was indeed caused by seismic and/or volcanic disturbances.
  There simply isn't enough evidence to make a firm guess.

Rajiv Patki
Rajiv Patki

@Babu Ranganathan You have an amazing sense of humour - relying on a fantastic religious fairy tale text to found the basis of a theory the conclusion of which is led to by logical deduction. If your words are true, you must be the Mad Hatter from Alice's Wonderland.

Meredith B.
Meredith B.

@Margo Dollan I know the bottom right is the famous Wilkes Land crater which  is more than twice the size of the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan peninsula, which marks the impact that may have ultimately killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The Chicxulub meteor is thought to have been 6 miles wide, while the Wilkes Land meteor could have been up to 30 miles wide -- four or five times wider.
But I can't find any information on the bottom left. It's very interesting research, though.

Samerle Burleigh
Samerle Burleigh

@Thomas Knecht  Its interesting how your definition of science supports only what you believe. When a person has no argument or is afraid of a perspective that differs from their own they usually result to your style of name calling.

GeneG Atheist
GeneG Atheist

@Samerle Burleigh 

There is no scientific evidence of a world wide flood.

If all you have is religion to offer, find a religious site that is suited to such posts. This is a science site.

Brian van Kuik
Brian van Kuik

@Samerle Burleigh

@Samerle Burleigh here's a experiment to demonstrate, a few simple items from around the house.

Items Needed:

-the lid of a rubbermaid type tub, or any other reasonable sized surface with a lip around it

-a simple plate or even a small cookie/baking sheet that fits inside the rubbermaid lid above

-ice (snow would be even better)

-water

-marker

The Setup:

1.) place lid on flat surface

2.) put plate upside down on the lid

3.) place a mark with the marker ~25% from the edge of the plate

4.) put a little water onto the lid so it reaches the marker line on the plate (~75% of the plate should be above the water)

The Experiment:

1.) take a handful of ice (or a good sized snowball) and put on top of the plate's bottom

2.) take a few (3-4) of those ice cubes an slide them into the water (you just created your own icebergs

3.) mark the level of the water with the marker

4.) with the remaining ice, every 30 min mark the level of water against the plate until the ice completely melts

Afterwards:

Share your results with friends, post on internet

Mitch Lyle
Mitch Lyle

@Samerle Burleigh  

Any ice that is not floating, like a glacier on land, will contribute to sea level rise when it melts.  There is about 6-7 m of sea levle rise in the west Antarctic Ice Sheet, the one in the foreground.

Karri N.
Karri N.

@Daniel Krause Thank you Daniel for making the point that has been so obviously missed. The wonderful work done by NASA and the British Antarctic Survey has produced an amazing map, showing off the beauty of Antarctica's landscape, hidden under so much ice and snow.

Miguel Lopes
Miguel Lopes

@Eric Xu that's a typic selfish human thought. Do you have any idea of the amount of biodiversity that would be lost if that was to happen? Humans still continue to think only about themselves and often forget that we are dependent of nature as well

Phillip Noe
Phillip Noe

@Eric Xu Yes, humans will adapt even if habitability deteriorates to the very minimums.  Does that mean we have nothing to be concerned about?  Your comment sounds like it.  Read about the costs of climate change, the declining fresh water supplies, ocean acidification, etc.  It is the worst environmental crisis developed humanity has ever faced and we are doing it to ourselves.  Contact your policy makers and insist they work to pass meaningful laws and regulations to reduce global emissions.  Apathy is in effect a willingness to endanger others.  Denial is an illness.  We can do better.

Todd Brown
Todd Brown

@Eric Xu The land in Antarctica has been set aside for scientific study, there will be no homesteaders at the south pole.  Moving the population of Bangladesh or other low lying countries to Antartica or Greenland is not really an option.

It is prudent to look at all possible outcomes and plan accordingly for any scenario that concerns you.  I'd rather take steps to avoid the polar icecaps from melting than trying to plan for New York City needing either relocation or a sea wall.

johan calion
johan calion

@Nicole Butler no, the continents are not floating. The earth's crust is made up of tectonic plates. Parts of these plates are above water. The weight of the ice is not pushing anything down. The plates are solid until about 8 miles down or so in most parts. Then there is a giant magma mantle. Then theres the core, of which many scientists currently think could be made of liquid nickle. Anyway, the water that covers most parts of these plates rises when ice on the land sloughs off and melts.

T M.
T M.

@Nicole Butler Come on...

The continents are floating on the MANTLE. You know?... crust, mantle, core and stuff?
Oceans are ON TOP OF the crust.

Miguel Lopes
Miguel Lopes

@Nicole Butler Not even going to comment on the continents floating already part but you should read a bit about geology. Anyway, if you fill your cup to the top and add ice cubes after doesn't it overflow?

Todd Brown
Todd Brown

@Nicole Butler The continents are floating on the rock of earth's crust, not water.  You are right that the north polar icecap is floating on water, but Greenland and Antarctica's melting ice will raise the sea level.  I agree with Chris Mitchell that you need to brush up on your science.

Riccardo Orsini
Riccardo Orsini

@Nicole Butler Continents actually "float" on the malleable SIMA layer found between 40 and 2700 kms of depth. The bottom of oceans is part of continental plates, too!

Dave Wilson
Dave Wilson

Technically this is somewhat true for the Arctic because there is no land under the Arctic. However, if I am correct, I believe that they are noticing more ice forming in the Antarctic. Too bad when it comes to climate change you never know what is the truth anymore. The other week I read in an article that Volcanic erruptions actually help cool the earth. That kind of throws out the whole reason why the earth was warmer millions of years ago (it's actually hilarious anymore). Keep the earth clean, recycle, plant trees, respect nature, but don't lose sleep if you have to drive your car across town. Nature does what it wants, companies and politicans try to make money off scaring into thinking that we are dooming ourselves. We can't control everything; do and believe what makes sense, not what some guy you don't know says on TV or online.

Eric Xu
Eric Xu

@Nicole Butler i agree your point that cup will not overflow if the ice melt,but here is a cup already full of water ,then other water from melted ice drops in, how cannot overflow?

Chris Mitchell
Chris Mitchell

@Nicole Butler

"Are not the continents floating already?"  Really?  This is what they are teaching in school these days?

Lori Reed
Lori Reed

@Blyss Blyssylb There are other 'rings' to be seen here, as well.  One is implied to the left of the one you saw and is ringed by mountains.  Another is above those, in the middle left of this image, partially covered by ocean.  Another huge one is to the right and is bordered by massive mountains.  Circular or curved landforms can be found all over the globe.  It is possible some are from meteoric impacts, some could be from massive volcanoes, and some could just be accidents of nature.

Amalia Manaois
Amalia Manaois

@Joe Sanford @Amalia Manaois it took more than trillions and trillions of years.  it took almost half of forever just to melt the ice and the pyramids getting built were as long as the melting of ice has been.  by the time the roman empire ended in europe and egypt, the americas were already tropical in climate and had vegetation and the new Persians (native american indians) were living in the Americas.

Amalia Manaois
Amalia Manaois

@Babu Ranganathan nevermind.  i'm still not awake.  i'm mentally disabled.  pardon me.  all this talk about religion, science, evolution and God makes my brain jello everytime i encounter it on facebook or google+.  sorry, for the inconvenience.

Steven Doyle
Steven Doyle

@GeneG Atheist @Samerle Burleigh You are incorrect. Between 10,000 BCE AND 6,500 BCE. sea level rose approximately 120 feet. a vast area of coastal land was flooded in 3 major events. As most civilization at that time was on coastal plains this lead to the flood myths, stories and epics that are world wide. Recently the proto=Harappan city of Dwaraka in India was discovered. It was finally submerged about 6,500 BCE according to dated artifacts.

johan calion
johan calion

@GeneG Atheist@Samerle BurleighNow, now. There is evidence of a world wide flood. Im no creationist, but the maya had stories about where they went when it happened. Same with coastal native americans and the tribal peoples in brazil. It didnt literally cover every inch of land, obviously many peoples survived it, but it was bad enough to affect nearly every human on the planet.

Erin T.
Erin T.

@Eric Xu "Moving the population of Bangladesh or other low lying countries to Antartica or Greenland is not really an option."

In the current framework of society, sure. But this is more of an opinion based on current circumstances than an iron-clad law of nature.

Dave Wilson
Dave Wilson

To further evaluate, do the research, the earth has a looong history of changing climate. There was a period called the medieval warm period where the earth was significantly warmer compared to the years before. A note, it was believed to be cooler than now still by a few degrees. It could be measuring error, some measurements are taken from inside citys or over parking lots (At least that's what I found in some research). My personal belief is solar activity, but I'm doubting man made as the leading factor, could play a role, but not as much as most believe. It's all really shady. Do the research, THINK FOR YOURSELVES EVERYONE.

Keisha Jackson
Keisha Jackson

@Chris Mitchell @Nicole Butler

In 2010 the Democrat congressman Hank Johnson thought the island of Guam would capsize and tip over because of too many people on it: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20001611-38.html

This is well known to be a common belief of many leftist believers in the man-made global warming fraud.

Andrew Booth
Andrew Booth

@Lori Reed@Blyss BlyssylbI think it more likely that a circular scarp and mountain range is a tectonic feature quite possibly formed by subduction at a tectonic plate boundary. The fault is now quiet but the existence of Mount Erebus shows that the area is still active.

Steven Doyle
Steven Doyle

@johan calion @GeneG Atheist @Samerle Burleigh You are correct in broad terms. Between 10,000 BCE  and 6,500 BCE the ocean rose over 120' which flooded an enormous amount of coastal land worldwide. The flood myths, stories, and epics are known in cultures through out the world. Recently artifacts were recovered from the site of Dwaraka in India that are from 32,000 to 6,500 BCE. This is a proto=Harappan site that supports the theory of the flooding.

Todd Brown
Todd Brown

@Dave Wilson I prefer to listen to the experts and interpret their findings rather than make judgement on my own from raw data.  In the same way if my doctor said I had cancer, I would listen to him, maybe get a second opinion and not try to diagnose myself.

Yes there have been periods that were warmer, and periods that had higher levels of atmospheric CO2.  However those changes in levels came over millions of years, not 100 years.  There is not enough time for evolution to help many plant and animal species.

The climate scientists are all in agreement with each other that climate change is happening and the increase of CO2 levels from man burning fossil fuels is the cause.  You are in denial of the data.  The people opposing the climate change data first tried saying wasn't happening and now are spreading doubt by saying more study is needed.  This is the same way Creationists are trying to teach the bible in schools, first denying Darwin and now saying evolution is a theory and we need more data and should also teach other ideas than Evolution.

Todd Brown
Todd Brown

@Keisha Jackson That would be right wing climate change deniers.  You can look up the statistic but there is a strong correlation between your political party affiliation in the US and your belief or denial of climate change.  The right are the deniers.

As far as Guam capsizing that was just a poor understanding of science by one person and not a political party line.

Riccardo Orsini
Riccardo Orsini

@Keisha Jackson It saddens me to see that an international, impartial publication like National Geographics, too, isn't safe from the morosity of politics.

Karri N.
Karri N.

@Keisha Jackson    Politics? In this forum? Seriously! Can we please keep the political Left vs Right stuff out of this.... please go elsewhere for it. Yes NGM is run out of the US, but not everyone here is an American or is into the American political scene.

P.S. Love the cool interactive visuals of the map!

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