West Antarctic Glaciers in Irreversible Decline

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West Antarctic Glaciers in Irreversible Decline

May 12, 2014: Over the years, as temperatures around the world have ratcheted upward, climate change researchers have kept a wary eye on one place perhaps more than any other:  The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and particularly the fastest melting part of it, the glaciers that flow into the Amundsen Sea.

In that region, six glaciers hang in a precarious balance, partially supported by land, and partially floating in waters just offshore.  There’s enough water frozen in the ice sheet that feeds these icy giants to raise global sea levels by 4 feet—if they were to melt. That’s troubling because the glaciers are melting. Moreover, a new study finds that their decline appears to be unstoppable.

A new ScienceCast video lays out the evidence…

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