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A TEAM of sci­en­tists, led by Bri­tish Antarc­tic Sur­vey, headed to Antarc­tica on Wed­nes­day to in­ves­ti­gate a mys­te­ri­ous marine ecosys­tem that’s been hid­den be­neath an Antarc­tic ice shelf for up to 120,000 years.

The ice­berg known as A68, which is four times of Lon­don, calved off from the Larsen Ice Shelf in July, 2017. The sci­en­tists will travel by ship to col­lect sam­ples from the newly ex­posed seabed, which cov­ers an area of around 5,818 km2. It is an ur­gent mis­sion. The ecosys­tem that’s likely been hid­den be­neath the ice for thou­sands of years may change as sun­light starts to al­ter the sur­face lay­ers of the sea.

Satel­lite mon­i­tor­ing is crit­i­cal for the ship to nav­i­gate through the iced wa­ters to reach this re­mote lo­ca­tion.

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