Spectacular footage has been released of a lake hidden under the surface of Antarctica's ice - but while it looks pretty, it doesn't bode well for the continent.
As part of a study examining meltwater lakes in an East Antarctic ice shelf, a hole was drilled in the ice on the King Baudoin ice shelf and a camera lowered in.
It showed a stunning new view of something very few people normally get to see - a lake 4m deep, buried in a pocket of ice 4m down from the surface.
While captivating, it also shows weakness in the ice shelves, which are at risk of fracturing and breaking apart.
The ice shelves are located in the ocean and hold the larger, secure East Antarctic ice sheet in place.
If the shelves collapse there's nothing holding the sheet back from sheet from sliding away and melting, which would result in significant sea level rise.
"Tens of meters of rising sea levels are locked away in Antarctica," says co-author Jan Lenaerts.
"Our research now suggests that the much larger East Antarctica ice sheet is also very vulnerable [to climate change]."
The study found warm, dry winds blowing across East Antarctic ice shelves are clearing off snow on top of them, exposing a darker surface which then absorbs more heat and creates 'hotspots'.
There are a number of meltwater lakes hidden in the ice shelves, some several kilometres across, according to the researchers.
"The amount of meltwater differs immensely from year to year, but it clearly increases during warm years," says co-author Stef Lhermitte.
The study was published in the Nature Climate Change journal on Tuesday.