Jagged mountains the size of the Alps have been found entombed in Antarctica’s ice, giving new clues about the vast ice sheet that will raise world sea levels if even a fraction of it melts. Using radar and gravity sensors, the experts made the first detailed maps of the Gamburtsev subglacial mountains, originally detected by Russian scientists 50 years ago at the heart of the East Antarctic ice sheet. “The surprising thing was that not only is this mountain range the size of the Alps, but it looks quite similar to the (European) Alps, with high peaks and valleys.
The U.N. panel on climate change says that greenhouse gases, mainly emitted by burning fossil fuels, will bring more heatwaves, floods and droughts, and raise sea levels.The team of experts from Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the United States also found water below the ice, using survey aircraft that flew 120,000 km (75,000 miles).Geologists say that mountain ranges such as the Alps or the Himalayas form in collisions between continents. The last time Antarctica was exposed to such forces was 500 million years ago.