An Antarctic ice shelf is 'singing' and it's creepy


According to the scientists, whose mission was to monitor the impact of climate change on the sea ice, which is what "singing" is caused by the winds that blow over the dunes located at the top of the sea ice of Ross and, who would be responsible of the vibrations of the ice.

When the researchers started analyzing seismic data on the Ross Ice Shelf, they noticed something odd: the vibration was nearly constant.

"Chasing down that lead gave us a unique insight into all the environmental effects an ice shelf can 'feel, ' and on remarkably short time scales", said lead researcher Julien Chaput, geophysicist and mathematician at Colorado State University. But when the researchers actually analyzed the data, they came to a striking conclusion: the outermost layer of the ice shelf was nearly constantly vibrating. This snow layer acts like a fur coat for the underlying ice, insulating the ice below from heating and even melting when temperatures rise. They also noticed a drop in pitch of the sounds during a warm spell when some of the snow melted.

The hum is too low in frequency to be audible to human ears, but the new findings suggest scientists could use seismic stations to continuously monitor the conditions on ice shelves in near real-time.

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But if we deployed seismic sensors on more ice shelfs, you could observe subtle environmental changes, in minutes. Scientists say the sounds could alert them to the shelf's condition under climate change, like a kind of warning sound for the planet.

He believes the disturbances occurring on the surface are being trapped in the form of seismic waves which travel through the ice shelf. "Basically, what we have on our hands is a tool to monitor the environment, really".

The Antarctic has been going through many changes over the years, primarily because of the cracking ice shelves caused by global warming.

The response of the ice shelf tells us that we can track extremely sensitive details about it. They posted the eerie sounds online, along with a Geophysical Research Letters report on their greater research.