A team of mathematicians and physicists have discovered how ice formations are shaped by external forces, such as water temperature. Its recently published research may offer another means of measuring factors that cause ice to melt. Physicists sculpted ice into distinct shapes by controlling the temperature of surrounding the water.
Experiments reveal that the shape of submerged, melting ice depends on temperature, suggesting that natural ice structures can provide clues about water temperatures.
According to this new study, the Ice cylinders submerged in water form one of three distinct structures as they melt, depending on the temperature of the surrounding water. Researchers found that the temperature-dependent buoyancy of meltwater determines the shape. As our warming world suffers a progressive loss of natural ice, an understanding of the effects of temperature on ice shapes may help researchers infer environmental conditions from observations of ice structures. As icebergs and glaciers shed meltwater, the icy structures they leave behind may encode information on its environment, hinting at their surrounding temperatures that are in turn dictated by the rising influences of a warming world.