Climate change is here, and we all feel it. Do you know where it can also be felt? In Antarctica, where there are melting glaciers. Lewis Pugh is a British swimmer and ocean advocate, and he wants to show us how vital these glaciers are, and how fast they melt. He decided to go for a swim.
He is 50 years old, and he decided to be the first person to swim in one of the supraglacial lakes of East Antarctica. These lakes form on the surface of thick glacial ice as it melts from above. There’s a study out there about supraglacial lakes in Antarctica, which found that more than 65,000 of them melt in January 2017.
Most of these lakes were seen on the ice shelf, which is the part of the glacier that hangs over the ocean, and that is not placed on the seafloor, thing that makes it even more vulnerable to melting.
Pugh only had a speedo and a swim cap, and he simply dove into the water that was 32 degrees F. he swam for about 10 minutes. When he went for the channel, a chunk of ice cracked.
Pugh stated that “I swam here today as we are in a climate emergency. We need immediate action from all nations to protect our planet.” This entire thing was part of a more extensive campaign, bound to create a marine protected area in East Antarctica.
As we’ve heard, in West Antarctica, scientists who went to the Thwaites Glacier observed that there was a pool of warm water that was melting the ice from below.