Scientists have discovered two new lakes buried deep beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These hidden gems of frigid water are part of a vast network of ever-changing lakes hidden beneath 1.2 to 2.5 miles (2 to 4 kilometers) of ice on the southernmost continent. These lakes fill and drain over and over again in largely mysterious cycles that may influence how fast the ice sheet moves and how and where meltwater reaches the Southern Ocean. This flow, in turn, can change the currents in the Southern Ocean and potentially affect ocean circulation worldwide. "It’s not just the ice sheet we’re talking about," study leader Matthew Siegfried, a geophysicist at the Colorado School of Mines, said in a statement . "We’re really talking about a water system that is connected to the whole Earth system." Hidden water The lakes sit at the bottom of the ice sheet, where the ice meets the rocky Antarctic continent. Unlike in Greenland , where meltwater flows from the ice surface through crevasses and holes called moulins, Antarctica’s lakes form from beneath the ice, probably as a result of pressure, friction and perhaps geothermal heat. This water system was largely invisible until the advent of […]

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