Climate Change: Denman Canyon Vulnerable to Melting

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Scientists of the US space Agency(NASA) have recently discovered a major vulnerability in Antarctic ice sheets, the region is already facing the hash impacts of climate change and the Denman Glacier which fills the submerged canyon with thick ice has started to melt ultimately unloading tons of ice into the ocean- posing a threat of significant sea level rise.

Details and Location of Canyon

  • Denman Canyon is a part of Denman Glacier discovered in 1912 by an expedition carried out under the leadership of Sir Duglas Mawson. He named it after Lord Denman, Governor-General of Australia in 1911, a patron of the expedition.
  • The Canyon under the Denman Glacier is to be the deepest continental point on land with the bedrock being 3,500m(11,500ft) below sea level.
  • The Canyon is located in the East Antarctic Region, is a 12-mile- wide stream of ice.
Denman Canyon

Finding of the NASA Report 

  • The melting of the extremely thick ice would raise the global sea level by 1.5m posing threat to various countries and islands around the world.
  • The Canyon is being eroded by the encroaching warm ocean water.
  • The Scientists have revealed that it is the lack of information about movement of warm water coming from deep oceans.
  • West Antarctica is facing the major brunt of the warm ocean current as most of the ice loss is occuring in this area.

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