President Donald J. Trump’s administration lives by a single overriding credo — if Barack Obama built it, they’ll tear it down.
Environmental activists have been watching as regulation after regulation and safeguard after safeguard gets thrown on the chopping block, essentially leaving Obama’s noteworthy environmental legacy in tatters — unless legal challenges to Trump policy prove successful in court.
It turns out that Antarctica is just as hot as it is cold. While most of the continent lies beneath a thick — albeit quickly melting — sheet of ice, a volcanic field containing at least 138 dormant volcanoes has been discovered deep underneath the surface of this polar continent. If they erupted, the consequences could have a dramatic impact on life on Earth.
Two kilometers below the surface of west Antarctica, scientists have discovered a vast field of volcanoes, the largest as high as Mt. Eiger in Switzerland, which comprise what is likely the largest volcanic region on earth. A survey conducted by Edinburgh University researchers discovered 91 previously unknown volcanoes in the region this year, and there may be even more.
An undergraduate student obsessed with volcanoes wanted to explore beyond the tips visible through the West Antarctic’s giant ice sheet to see how many more were hidden underneath. The resulting study may have uncovered the largest area of volcanoes on the planet. Scientists are watching closely to determine what effect nearly 100 volcanoes sitting under Antarctica could have on climate change.
One of the ten largest icebergs known to science—roughly the size of Delaware—is about to break off from Antarctica. This would be one of the largest breakoffs ever recorded, and could trigger a breakup of the northernmost ice shelf in Antarctica, known as Larsen C.
Widening at a rate of 15 centimeters per day, a vast chasm in Antarctica’s ice is threatening one of the world’s most notable research stations — the Halley VI Research Station, which was until recently otherwise comfortably established on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in East Antarctica’s Weddell Sea.
New research published in the journal Science suggests the thinning in the ozone layer above Antarctica is starting to heal. Researchers carried out detailed measurements of the amount of ozone in the stratosphere every September between 2000 and 2015. They used data collected from weather balloons, satellites and model simulations, to show the thinning of the layer declined by 1.5 million square miles, an area larger than India.