Rainbow satellite image shows Antarctica’s ice fleeing into the ocean
Hello, Antarctica, you’re looking more colorful than ever! But wait — you’re ice, and colorful ice seems bad.
It is. The colors on this satellite image from the European Space Agency (ESA) correspond to the speed at which Antarctica’s ice is shifting. The warmer the color, the faster that ice is breaking off and floating away. Red indicates movement of up to three feet per day, whereas blue indicates about an inch per day.
Thanks to the pull of our old friend gravity, ice sheets are constantly in motion. But warmer ice is weaker, and weaker ice moves faster. Take a look at the peninsula’s coasts, where higher temperatures have increased melt and sped up glacial movement, causing ice to slip into the sea.
Looks like we’ve got an Antarctica on the rocks. (That sounds like a pretty good drink, actually.)