UNPRECEDENTED temperatures in Antarctica have resulted in a never-before-seen island emerging from the ocean.
The uncharted island is actually big enough to spot from space but had gone unnoticed due to previously being hidden beneath a lot of ice.
Earlier this month, Antarctica recorded its hottest temperature on record, with the mercury lurching above 20C for the first time.
This has caused ice caps to melt and glaciers to retreat.
Extreme melting and changes to the climate like this has released pressure on to the continent, allowing the ground to rise up.
Rebounding ground can accelerate the ice cracking and falling away, which is what happened with this new island that's now emerged off the coast of Antarctica.
The island has been named after Sif, the Norse goddess of Earth and wife of Thor.
It was first spotted by members of the Thwaites Offshore Research (THOR) project as their research vessel passed through Pine Island Bay.
This bay is were ice flows into from the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica.
According to Nature News, experts aren't sure how long the island has been visible but they think climate change is probably to blame for its sudden appearance.
University of Houston marine geologist Julia Wellner was one of the investigators on the expedition that spotted the island.
She tweeted: "After being the first visitors, we can now confirm that Sif Island is made of granite and that it is covered by remnant ice shelf, and a few seals."
The expedition crew has taken geological samples of the island, which could help to explain the way the continent is shifting.
We've contacted them to ask more details about the size of the Sif.
Extreme melting events in Antarctica have also revealed more of existing islands.
Nasa recently released a image of Eagle Island losing 20% of its snow cover in only 9 days at the start of this month.
Climate change explained
Here are the basic facts…
- Scientists have lots of evidence to show that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activity
- Climate change will result in problems like global warming, greater risk of flooding, droughts and regular heatwaves
- Each of the last three decades have been hotter than the previous one and 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have happened during the 21st century
- The Earth only needs to increase by a few degrees for it to spell disaster
- The oceans are already warming, polar ice and glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and we’re seeing more extreme weather events
- In 2015, almost all of the world's nations signed a deal called the Paris Agreement which set out ways in which they could tackle climate change and try to keep temperatures below 2C
In other news, rare ice volcanoes have been spotted on Lake Michigan thanks to a recent cold snap.
Antarctica has recorded its hottest temperature on record, with the mercury lurching above 20C for the first time.
And, magical scenes in oceans and rivers have been revealed by the Underwater Photographer of the Year Awards 2020.
Are you concerned about climate change? Let us know in the comments…
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