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An island was discovered that was once hidden in Antarctica, after climate change caused the melting of glaciers that revealed the rocky coast to a group of scientists near the site.
A group of polar researchers from the Thwaites Offshore Research (THOR) project discovered the island when their ship passed through Pine Island Bay in Antarctica. The island has been named “Sif” in honour of the Nordic goddess of fertility and family, who was also the wife of the warrior god Thor, making a pun on the glacier research team they represent.
Researchers aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer ship were studying the Thwaites glacier in Pine Island Bay; one of the fastest melting glaciers in Antarctica . The team does not know how long the 634,400-square-foot island has been exposed, but says it was probably revealed due to higher than normal temperatures caused by climate change.
It is large enough for satellites to see from space, but the island never before seen had previously hidden under thick layers of ice, and it only revealed itself after parts of the glacier broke and melted.
Thanks to climate change they discover hidden island in Antarctica
Cartographers from the British Antarctic Survey estimate that the island , made of granite, measures approximately 1,240 feet wide by 520 feet wide, approximately 634,400 square feet or approximately the same size as Windsor Castle, England.
For their part, the researchers hope to reveal more about the composition of the island and how it was discovered, when their trip ends at the end of March. Boats rarely travel as far south as the Palmer, so it is highly likely that the crew will be the first to discover the island and may be the first people to step on its rocky coast.
“After being the first visitors, we can now confirm that Sif Island is made of granite and that it is covered by a remnant ice shelf and some rocks,” said Julia Smith Wellner of the THOR expedition team.
The researchers took samples of the island in the hope of obtaining a clearer picture of how the icy continent is changing, but they won’t know for sure until they reach a laboratory ending the month of March.
Source: La Verdad Noticias