ESA’s SMOS mission has been used to show how the temperature of the Antarctic ice sheet changes with depth. The image shows how the ice is colder (blue) at the surface but warmer (red) at the base. Temperature is one of the things that determines how ice flows and slides over the bedrock beneath. In turn, this flow affects the temperature profile through strain heating – so it’s a complicated process. Temperature information is also fundamental for understanding the presence of aquifers inside or at the bottom part of ice sheets. This can be relevant for indicating the presence of sub-glacial lakes, for example, which in turn influence ice-sheet dynamics.
Read full story: Revealing interior temperature of Antarctic ice sheet