An Atlantic lake containing 21–26 billion cubic feet of water disappeared in just 3 days. This event happened in June 2019, but the scientists published their study in 2021.
By observing satellite images from NASA’s ICESat-2, glaciologists from the University of Tasmania accidentally noticed an enormous change in the Antarctic. From June 9th to June 11th, 2019, an ice-covered lake drained completely.
Roland Warner, the scientist who discovered it, says that the disappearance is probably due to the weight of water beneath the ice. It created pressure and cracked the ice enough to make all the 21–26 cubic feet of water drain into the ocean.
Wagner also said that the water flow created by this drainage could be compared to underwater Niagara Falls. The fracture created by this drainage was around 4.25 square miles.
They warned that this event might not be connected to climate change entirely. However, due to climate change, these types of drainages are more and more likely to happen. More precisely, ice meltings are probably going to double by 2050, and they will affect drainages too.
This fact is not surprising, since the sea temperature has risen by 1.62°F since 1880 — and is expected to continue rising.
But, there are reports that an exciting thing happened concerning this specific case. The satellite images have shown that the lake did refill with water in 2020.
They don’t know if the lake drained again, if it will drain regularly, or if it will create new fractures in the already fractured ice. The largest probability is that the crack will become more prominent and that the lake will keep draining.
Since it’s a one-of-a-kind discovery, it will undoubtedly be an interesting topic to follow.