Polar ice sheets melt rapidly in both Antarctica and Greenland, mainly due to global warming, but that may not be the only reason. Apparently, in at least one of the most threatened glaciers at the South Pole, the Pine Island glacier, there may be another reason for the rapid ice melt. It would be nothing less than an active hidden volcano under the ice of Antarctica.
At least, that’s what reported a team of scientists who released a study on this issue in the journal Nature. According to their report, during an expedition to Antarctica, they collected samples of a rare type of helium, Helium-3, that’s commonly found only in areas with high volcanic activity.
That was a surprising and unexpected finding, and the scientists are still puzzled by the implications of this finding, as it could not only explain why the Pine Island glacier has been melting for 80 years at a rapid rate, but also open the door to other similar volcanoes hidden under the ice of Antarctica.
There might be an active hidden volcano under the ice of Antarctica that might erupt anytime
Even more surprising, although it is known that there was volcanic activity in that area, the latest data indicate that the last eruptions occurred more than 2,000 years ago. According to the scientists, a presumably dead volcano could be, in fact, active and ready to erupt at any time.
Despite this significant finding, the team of researchers who have made it is prudent. They indicate that the melting of the Pine Island glacier, located in the westernmost part of Antarctica, is due to global warming and rising sea and wind temperatures.
However, more expeditions to the area are planned. Now the scientists will focus on gathering even more evidence about the presence of an active hidden volcano under the ice of Antarctica, not just scattered samples of Helium-3.