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Active volcano threat to Antarctica

  • Published at 09:23 am July 4th, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:24 am July 4th, 2018
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An Adelie penguin stands atop a block of melting ice near the French station at Dumont díUrville in East Antarctica in this January 23, 2010 file photo. Reuters

 The shelf's stability has serious implications for the future of sea level rising

While analysing Antarctic water samples, scientists have discovered a substantial volcanic heat source beneath Pine Island Glacier.

Elevated levels of helium-3 gas detected in the waters around Pine Island glacier indicate volcanic activity beneath the ice sheet – exhibiting as much as 25 times more thermal energy than a dormant volcano.

The volcanic heat source is one more factor to account for when modelling the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Shelf. The shelf's stability has serious implications for the future of sea level rising.