western Antarctic ice sheet

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Antarctic Ice Melt Is Accelerating Rapidly

3 trillion tons of ice have melted since 1992, study says

(Newser) - Scientists monitoring ice loss in Antarctica have chilling news: The melting rate has accelerated alarmingly and the ice sheet is now shedding more than 200 billion tons a year, according to a study involving 88 scientists published in the journal Nature . The researchers say the rate of ice loss has... More »

All Antarctic Ice Would Melt If We Burned All Fossil Fuels

Seas could rise 160 feet: study

(Newser) - If we were to burn all of the planet's fossil fuel reserves, we would be saying goodbye to the entire Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. That's the takeaway from an international study announced today, Reuters reports. "To be blunt: If we burn it all, we melt it... More »

Scientists Find Fish Under 2.5K Feet of Antarctic Ice

They expected to find only microbes in the dark, tiny wedge of seawater

(Newser) - With the help of a special hot-water drill, a large, multidisciplinary team of scientists has become the first to bore through the Ross Ice Shelf—the biggest body of floating ice in the world, roughly the size of France—and sample life below nearly 2,500 feet of ice. What... More »

Scientists Find Life Half a Mile Below Antarctic Ice

The active ecosystem is below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

(Newser) - A half a mile below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, in a lake that hasn’t been touched by sunshine or wind in millions of years, life goes on. A large US expedition called WISSARD , led by a professor at Montana State University, has unearthed a thriving... More »

To Scientists' Horror, Antarctic Ice Begins Unstoppable Collapse

Point of no return has passed, researchers say

(Newser) - Two groups of scientists studying the West Antarctica ice sheet have come to the same chilling conclusion: The mighty glaciers have begun a thaw that will cause sea levels to rise 10 feet or more and there's nothing we can do about it. "A large sector of the... More »

Danger in the Ocean: 270-Square-Mile Iceberg

Chunk of Antarctic ice could threaten shipping

(Newser) - A vast iceberg—described variously as Singapore-sized, bigger than Chicago, a quarter of the size of Rhode Island, or just really, really big—is drifting away from Antarctica and could find its way toward shipping lanes. The 270-square-mile chunk of ice cracked off the Pine Island Glacier in July, Antarctica'... More »

Colossal New Antarctic Iceberg Forming

Berg the size of NYC ready to split

(Newser) - An iceberg the size of New York City is expected to break away from a western Antarctic ice sheet any day now. Scientists have spotted an 18-mile-long crack in the sheet of floating ice in front of the Pine Island Glacier, and believe the sheet is about to calve a... More »

Greenland, Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Expected

Ice sheets could send sea level up 6 inches by 2050

(Newser) - The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting significantly faster than previously estimated, according to a new international report led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Unless the trend is reversed, the melting ice sheets will push global sea levels up six inches by 2050, the scientists... More »

All of Antarctic Is Heating Up, Study Says

Finding debunks perceived cooling in most of continent

(Newser) - Antarctica is warming up after all, scientists say. New research contradicts previous findings that parts of the continent were actually cooling and thus giving ammunition to skeptics of global warming, reports National Geographic. The new study in Nature uses satellite information to fill in spotty weather station data over the... More »

Both Arctic Passages Navigable for First Time

Using Northeast, Northwest shortcuts will be boon to shipping firms

(Newser) - In what scientists say is an historic moment, both Northeast and Northwest Passages are navigable as of this week, and shipping firms are salivating over the  possibilities, Der Spiegel reports. With an increasing number of largely ice-free days every summer, the radical shortcuts offered by the once-treacherous routes will eventually... More »

Ancient Antarctic Volcano May Be Linked to Warming

Scientists make 'unique' discovery beneath continent's massive ice sheets

(Newser) - The discovery of what scientists are hailing as the first evidence of a volcanic eruption under Antarctica’s massive ice sheet may be linked to climate change, the BBC reports. British researchers, who discovered evidence of a volcano by analyzing radar data from an air survey, believe the eruption likely... More »

Antarctica Speeds Into Trouble

Disturbing new discovery indicates climate change is accelerating

(Newser) - Parts of Antarctica thought to be unaffected by global warming are in fact melting as the temperature of the oceans rises, and in parts of the continent, annual ice loss has jumped 140% in the past decade, new research shows. Satellite mapping shows change on a previously unimagined scale, reports... More »

12 Stories