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July 24 2013

Melting Permafrost Found in Antarctica's Dry Valleys


Antarctica's Dry Valleys are home to the oldest ice on Earth. The first signs of the massive thaw disturbing the Arctic's frozen ground have now appeared in one of these valleys, melting a glacier buried since the last Ice Age.

The Dry Valleys are different from the rest of Antarctica. Their ice, some of which is millions of years old, is buried under scoured boulders and dust as fine as flour. The arid landscape looks like Mars and, until now, hadn't changed much since the continent froze about 15 million years ago.

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