In an important milestone for Antarctic research, detailed and extensive information on ice thickness and bed topography is now available for the first time in a centralized and standardized format.
The comprehensive dataset, compiled over the past 60 years through ground-based and airborne surveys by more than 50 institutions, provides valuable information about the ice and rock that make up Antarctica and will be crucial in helping our predictions of future ice loss and sea level. get up “Antarctic Bedmap data: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) sharing of 60 years of ice bed, surface and thickness data,” published in Earth System Science Data.
Led by the Bedmap3 Action Group and supported by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Bedmap3 has more data and coverage than the previous iteration, released a decade ago. About 52 million new data points and 1.9 million kilometer measurements were added, more than doubling the amount of data available. An additional 84 new surveys have filled major gaps, particularly in East Antarctica—including the South Pole, and now covering glacier troughs and floating ice shelves, providing new insight into previously unsampled areas.
Importantly, the underlying data are made freely and easily accessible for all researchers. Using fair data principles—Searchable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable—and using internationally agreed, consistent data formats, this dataset now paves the way for the development of more accurate models of future ice loss and sea level rise.
Alice Frémand, manager of scientific data at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), and lead author of the paper, says, “Until now, it has been a slow, difficult process for researchers to use this data and interpret with a lot of time. lag between data being collected and used. Given how quickly parts of the Antarctic peninsula are changing, this is time we’re running out of.
“The importance of this achievement cannot be overstated. For the first time, researchers around the world have easy, open access to a wealth of comprehensive and reliable information on Antarctic ice thickness and bed topography.”
The bedmap data was primarily collected through more than 270 ground-based and airborne radio-echo sounding and seismic surveys.
Peter Fretwell, geographic information officer and co-author of BAS, says, “This is a true community effort, with more than 80 international partners contributing. The success of this project highlights on the importance of international collaboration and data sharing in the development of scientific research.”
This project represents a major step forward in future research and predictions about Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise. This in turn helps policy makers to develop climate change strategies and mitigation against sea level rise.
Alice C. Frémand et al, Antarctic Bedmap data: EQUAL sharing of 60 years of ice bed, surface and thickness data, Earth System Science Data (2022). DOI: 10.5194/essd-2022-355
SCAR Bedmap Data Portal: bedmap.scar.org/
Provided by the British Antarctic Survey
Citation: 60 years of Antarctic ice sheet data released (2023, July 18) retrieved 18 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-years-antarctic-ice-sheet.html
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