Science

An Antarctic Ice Shelf Is ‘Singing,’ Scientists Say

An Antarctic Ice Shelf Is ‘Singing,’ Scientists Say

The winds cause the massive ice slab's surface to vibrate, producing a near-constant set of seismic tones scientists could potentially use to monitor changes in the ice shelf from afar, according to new research led by Colorado State University.

In an effort to better understand the physical properties of the Ross Ice Shelf, researchers buried 34 seismic sensors under its snowy surface (which, often several meters deep, acts as insulation). This allowed them to monitor the "near‐surface conditions" of the giant ice shelf, which is roughly the size of Texas (or Spain, for Europeans).

Study co-author Rick Aster during a station installation trip on the Ross Ice Shelf, holding a broadband seismometer.

Moreover, the haunting sounds of Antarctica's ice shelves could greatly contribute to the sound effects used in horror movies and haunted houses - just in time for Halloween.

The resulting data showed something odd: the "fur coat" snow layer that protects the ice from heat was constantly "singing", or vibrating. After analyzing these data, scientists have discovered a weird vibe - they occur when the wind blows the thick snow cover on the glacier. Scientists say the sounds could alert them to the shelf's condition under climate change, like a kind of warning sound for the planet.




The snow provides a barrier between the air and the ice, which insulates it from warming temperatures, comparing it to a fur coat.

The human ear can't hear the unaltered sound because it is at too low of a frequency, the researchers noted.

Being able to monitor the air temperature is particularly important, Chaput explained, because it could tell us which ice shelves are vulnerable to warming events.

Changes to the ice shelf's "seismic hum" could also indicate whether cracks in the ice are forming that might indicate whether the ice shelf is susceptible to breaking up. "And its impact on the Antarctic ice sheet", the researcher added. They posted the eerie sounds online, along with a Geophysical Research Letters report on their greater research.


  • Neymar dismisses Barcelona return Real Madrid transfer links as 'fake news'

    Neymar dismisses Barcelona return Real Madrid transfer links as 'fake news'

    Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic were also some of Neymar's close acquaintances and he still considers Barcelona as "his club". Senior Barcelona players have assured president Josep Maria Bartomeu they would be happy to welcome back Neymar .
    Jerusalem Move is Right for Australia

    Jerusalem Move is Right for Australia

    Pompeo said in the statement that the USA has "taken no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders". The move does not change the U.S.'s position that "boundaries or borders" are a final status issue, Pompeo said .
    'Red Dead Redemption 2' Pre-Loading Now Live

    'Red Dead Redemption 2' Pre-Loading Now Live

    But we're covering the game anyway because we're all basically certain it's going to come to PC eventually . People that have pre-ordered the game are now reporting that they are unable to get the game at launch.
  • OnePlus moved the OnePlus 6T launch event, because Apple

    OnePlus moved the OnePlus 6T launch event, because Apple

    But that gives the rest of us the chance to see the phone a day early, even if the 6th November release date isn't changing. The report also reveals that the OnePlus 6T will be made available in two colour options: Midnight Black and Mirror Black.
    #MeToo: Court takes cognisance of Akbar's defamation case

    #MeToo: Court takes cognisance of Akbar's defamation case

    One of them, Ghazala Wahab, editor of Force magazine, had worked for Akbar at the Asian Age newspaper between 1994 and 1997. Shutapa Paul, founder editor of NewCrop, had been among the slew of Indian journalists who had accused Akbar of harassment.
    Iran condoles with families of Crimea college attack victims

    Iran condoles with families of Crimea college attack victims

    Several media outlets made a comparison with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in the USA , which left 13 people dead. Another student, Yuri Kerpek, told the state RIA Novosti news agency that the shooting went on for about 15 minutes.
  • Khashoggi probe: Erdogan vows to uncover truth after Saudi admission

    Khashoggi probe: Erdogan vows to uncover truth after Saudi admission

    Some Trump aides raised doubts about the veracity of the Turkish government's leaks of what it says happened to Khashoggi. Trump also called Saudi Arabia a "great ally".
    Trump threatens to send army to US-Mexico border in migrant row

    Trump threatens to send army to US-Mexico border in migrant row

    In Guatemala City, where migrant shelters filled with people, waves of people departed at daybreak on roads leading to Mexico. The group chanted: 'We are not smugglers, we are migrants, ' as they reorganized themselves on Friday afternoon.
    Brewers reportedly suspect Dodgers are using video to steal signs

    Brewers reportedly suspect Dodgers are using video to steal signs

    But All-Star reliever Josh Hader had pitched three innings the night before and didn't pitch in Game 2. Lorenzo Cain followed with an RBI double off the wall in center field.
  • Mexico deploys hundreds of riot police as migrants near

    Mexico deploys hundreds of riot police as migrants near

    The developments on Friday came as Mike Pompeo prepared to fly to Mexico to discuss migration with the country's officials. Photos posted online show some of the migrants breaking down the fence's gate and continuing towards the border bridge.
    Karlie Kloss Marries Joshua Kushner 3 Months After Engagement

    Karlie Kloss Marries Joshua Kushner 3 Months After Engagement

    They held on Thursday a small, Jewish ceremony in upstate NY , with under 80 people in attendance, People Magazine reported. Karlie shared a photo from the couple's nuptials on social media, which she captioned "10.18.2018".
    Migrants Prepare to Cross Guatemala-Mexico Border

    Migrants Prepare to Cross Guatemala-Mexico Border

    He also threatened to send in the U.S. military to "CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!" and keep out "MANY CRIMINALS" among the migrants. The developments on Friday came as Mike Pompeo prepared to fly to Mexico to discuss migration with the country's officials.