Sea ice is formed from ocean water that freezes, whether along coasts or to the sea floor (fast ice) or floating on the surface (drift ice) or packed together (pack ice). The most important areas of pack ice are the polar ice packs. Because of vast amounts of water added to or removed from the oceans and atmosphere, the behavior of polar ice packs have a significant impact on the global changes in climate.
CryoSat reveals lake outbursts beneath Antarctic ice
08 February 2017
A novel way of using ESA's CryoSat mission has revealed how lakes beneath Thwaites Glacier drained into the Amundsen Sea - potentially the largest such outflow ever reported in this region of West Antarctica.
This new information is helping scientists understand more about what's going on deep below the surface of the ice and what affects how fast the glaciers flow towards the ocean.
Thwaites and its neighbouring Pine Island Glacier are the fastest-receding glaciers on the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet.
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