This video from the is part of a study that's trying to figure out what's happening in Earth's receding ice caps by getting up close and personal with them. The Ross Ice Shelf is massive--the size of France--but little is still known about what's beneath it. To find out, this program, a collaboration between New Zealand universities, drilled a 300-meter-deep borehole into the ice shelf and sent a camera down there to see what's up.
What results is a mesmerizing, gorgeous video that truly feels like a journey into the unknown.
An initial by the team suggests that the water underneath the shelf is warmer compared to measurements taken in the '70s. That's bad--we need massive ice shelves like these to hold back the ice that's on land, and to prevent the major catastrophe of sea level rise from getting out of control. So far, we can't tell how compromised the shelf may be, but even from these initial measurements, the outlook isn't good.