Monday, 9 September 2013

"UK scientists to probe Pine Island Glacier"

From the BBC:

UK scientists are about to set out for Antarctica to interrogate the mighty Pine Island Glacier.

The PIG drains about 10% of all the ice sliding off the west of the continent, and has seen a marked thinning and a surge in velocity in recent decades. Its contribution to sea level rise is now greater than any other glacier on the planet.

The British Antarctic Survey-led team hopes its iStar project will provide new insights into the PIG's behaviour, which is spoiling things for everybody else.

The researchers will gather their information using a diverse set of techniques and technologies, including depriving the glacier of sleep, shining lights in its eyes and putting it into solitary confinement.

A team of psychologists will play "good cop" by gently asking the glacier about difficulties it might have faced in its childhood and offering small treats as a reward for cooperation. Those assigned to the "bad cop" role will be cradling ice picks in a threatening manner and threatening to bash chunks out of it "for research purposes".


Derek said...

They'd better be careful or they'll end up with PETIS* on their backs. And nobody wants that.

*People for the Ethical Treatment of Ice Sheets.