For the first time, scientists drilled a depth of 7,060 feet (2,2532 meters) using a hot-water drill (a large tool that melts the ice), through the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to its base. Actually, scientists weren’t trying to break the world record when they drilled.
But they are hoping of finding out how the area will respond to climate change in the coming years by peeking below the ice sheet. According to a statement from the British Antarctic Survey, which is leading the project.
A project called BEAMISH (Bed Access, Monitoring and Ice Sheet History), have been planning for the past 20 years. On Jan. 8th, they broke through the base of the Rutford Ice Stream in West Antarctica. The team threaded instruments through the hole in order to record water pressure and ice temperature, and to measure how much the ice has deformed.
The team drilled down deep because they hope to find out how long ago the Antarctic ice sheet last disappeared and how water and sediments may be nudging the ice toward the sea.
As the polar ice sheet of our world Antarctica, Greenland have been melting at an accelerating rate due to a warming climate. And the scientists lack confident of what to expect in the future in terms of how much ice will ultimately melt and contribute to sea-level rise.
Source: Live Science (Scientists Drill Deepest Hole Ever in Antarctica).