A hidden island is uncovered in Antarctica due to melting glaciers caused by ...

A once hidden island has been uncovered in Antarctica after melting glaciers caused by record high temperatures revealed its rocky shore to passing scientists.

A group of polar researchers from the Thwaites Offshore Research (THOR) project spotted the island as their ship passed through Pine Island Bay in Antarctica.

The island has been named Sif after the Norse goddess of fertility and family who was also the wife of the warrior god Thor by the THOR glacier research team. 

Researchers on board the Nathaniel B. Palmer ship are studying Thwaites glacier in Pine Island bay, one of the fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica. 

The team don't know how long the island has been exposed but say it was likely revealed by higher than usual temperatures caused by climate change.

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The new island has been named Sif by researchers who say it was uncovered due to warming temperatures causing ice sheets to melt

The new island has been named Sif by researchers who say it was uncovered due to warming temperatures causing ice sheets to melt

'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,' said Julia Smith Wellner from the THOR expedition team

'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,' said Julia Smith Wellner from the THOR expedition team

It is big enough for satellites to spot from space but the never before seen island has previously been hidden under thick layers of ice.

The team haven't said how big the island actually is but hope future missions will be able to study it in more detail.

Ships rarely travel as far south as the Palmer so the crew are likely the first to discover the island and may be the first humans to step foot on its rocky shore.

'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,' said Julia Smith Wellner from the THOR expedition team.

They took samples from the island int he hope of getting a clearer picture of how the frozen continent is shifting but won't know for sure until they get to a lab in March. 

“This one island could hold a lot of clues,” University of Virginia in Charlottesville glacial geologist Lauren Simkins told Nature News.

As glaciers retreat they release pressure on the continent allowing the ground underneath the ice to rise up - a process called rapid rebound.

This sometimes stabilises the ice by anchoring it in place but can also accelerate the break up of the glacier by creating more cracks. 

'Rapid rebound could increase stress on the remaining ice sheet, causing it to break apart more quickly', she said.

'But a rising continental shelf could also anchor glaciers, increasing their stability and slowing their march to the sea.' 

When they first spotted the new island, there was a commotion on board as everyone rushed to see the rocky land amongst miles of water and ice.

'I think I see rocks,” shouted an officer aboard the ship.

They looked at charts and maps of the area and realised it was a 'brand new island' likely 'never seen before'.

'There was a commotion as everyone on board rushed to see the rocky, ice-covered outcrop and suggest potential names. 

'But the hubbub quickly gave way to excitement about the scientific implications of the find, says Wellner, a marine geologist at the University of Houston in Texas.

Ships rarely travel as far south as the Palmer so the crew are likely the first to discover the island and may be the first humans to step foot on its rocky shore

Ships rarely travel as far south as the Palmer so the crew are likely the first to discover the island and may be the first humans to step foot on its rocky shore

The island is big enough for satellites to spot from space but the never before seen island has previously been hidden under thick layers of ice

The island is big enough for satellites to spot from space but the never before seen island has previously been hidden under thick layers of ice

Climate scientist Peter Neff examined the new images and satellite data to try and determine how

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