Thursday, January 17, 2008

Antarctic lake may hold life clue

An Edinburgh scientist's study of a 15 million-year-old lake buried under the ice of Antarctica could yield clues on climate change and the origins of life.
Edinburgh University researcher Neil Ross is part of a four-man team camped on an Antarctic ice sheet. The group, which also includes members of the British Antarctic Survey, are to explore an ancient subglacial lake about the size of Loch Katrine. Lake Ellsworth, in West Antarctica, is buried under 3.2kms of ice. The scientists believe the 10km-long lake could give scientists vital insights into climate change, future rises in sea-levels and the origins of life on earth. It is one of more than 150 lakes locked beneath Antarctica's vast ice sheets that have been discovered using radar and satellite technologies.

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