Temperature is one of the things that determines ice viscosity and therefore how ice sheets flow and slide over the bedrock beneath. In turn, this flow affects the ice-sheet temperature profile through strain heating – so it’s a complicated process. Information on temperature is also fundamental for understanding the presence of aquifers inside or at the bottom of ice sheets. This can be relevant for indicating the presence of sub-glacial lakes, for example, which in turn influence ice-sheet dynamics. ESA’s SMOS satellite mission has shown that it can be used to measure how the temperature of the Antarctic ice sheet changes with depth.
Read full story: Revealing interior temperature of Antarctic ice sheet