In the UK, a team of scientists have set out on an Antarctic expedition to get to the bottom of climate change mysteries. Quite literally, the group is planning to drill through three kilometers of Antarctic ice in order get samples from its lake.
In hopes of unraveling clues about our climate, they are preparing for the trip with over 70 tons of equipment. The lake itself spans 10 kilometers in length and two to three in width. They will be using a hot-water drill to melt through the ice, like in previous Antarctic missions. After opening a hole, they would be able to gather sediment samples from the lake and investigate for life forms down there.
Beyond that, the underlying goal of the mission is really to understand something more about current climate changes. If the Antarctic ice continues to deteriorate, sea levels could go up incrementally around the world. Therefore, further research could potentially help us determine future conditions of the West Antarctic in coming years.
Starting next week, the team will depart for the initial operations of this project. The mission is scheduled for October of 2010, but the danger of executing a mission like this in the Antarctic requires adequate preparation and proper precaution. After all, these scientists are dealing with extreme temperatures and huge pressures in these regions. Even a slight delay in the entire process could cause the hole to refreeze and result in a failed mission.