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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 7:25 EDT

Latest West Antarctic Ice Sheet Stories

2009-10-19 11:25:00

New ground measurements made by the West Antarctic GPS Network (WAGN) project, composed of researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, The Ohio State University, and The University of Memphis, suggest the rate of ice loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been slightly overestimated. "Our work suggests that while West Antarctica is still losing significant amounts of ice, the loss appears to be slightly slower than some recent estimates," said Ian Dalziel, lead principal...

2009-10-01 13:54:54

U.S. scientists say a 24-foot-long robotic submarine will be used in a multimillion-dollar, five-year study of melting on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Northern Illinois University said its robotic submarine will be lowered through more than a half mile of ice into ocean water in the study that involves nine U.S. institutions. Researchers said the submarine will collapse to a width of only two feet, allowing it to be lowered through a drill hole melted in the ice. The sub is designed to allow...

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2009-08-14 12:25:00

Experts say one of the largest glaciers in Antarctica is thinning four times faster than it was 10 years ago, BBC News reported. The surface of the ice at the Pine Island glacier in west Antarctica is now dropping at a rate of up to 50 feet a year, according to a recent study of satellite measurements. The work, by British scientists and published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that the glacier has lowered by almost 300 feet since 1994, which has serious implications for sea-level...

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2009-07-20 14:52:59

A new study published this week takes scientists a step further in their quest to understand how Antarctica's vast glaciers will contribute to future sea-level rise. Reporting in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and University of Durham describe how a new 3-d map created from radar measurements reveals features in the landscape beneath a vast river of ice, ten times wider than the Rhine*, in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. During 2007, two...

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2009-05-15 11:20:00

Scientists have reevaluated the repercussions that the Earth would suffer if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to completely melt.In the journal Science, researchers said a complete melt of the WAIS would cause a 3.3 meter (10 ft) increase in sea level, compared to previous studies that predicted a rise of five to six meters.They added that even a rise of lesser levels would still have an impact on coastal cities, including New York."Sea level rise is considered to be the one...

2009-05-14 14:24:41

The potential contribution to sea level rise from a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) have been greatly overestimated, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Scientists estimate global sea level would rise 3.3 metres, not five or six, as previously thought. The Atlantic and Pacific seaboards of the US, even in the case of a partial collapse, would experience the largest increases, threatening cities such as New York, Washington DC and San Francisco.Long...

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2009-05-05 10:38:55

Most comprehensive seabed image of Amundsen Sea Embayment Motorway-sized troughs and channels carved into Antarctica's continental shelves by glaciers thousands of years ago could help scientists to predict future sea-level rise according to a report in the journal Geology this month (May). Using sonar technology from onboard ships, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) captured the most extensive, continuous set of images of the seafloor...

2009-03-18 13:54:57

U.S. climatologists say they've determined the West Antarctic ice sheet changes rapidly over the eons, most influenced by ocean temperatures. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Massachusetts said their findings were based on modeling 5 million years of changes in the ice sheet. We found that the West Antarctic ice sheet varied a lot, collapsed and regrew multiple times over that period, said Penn State senior scientist David Pollard. The ice sheets in our model...

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2009-03-18 15:45:00

Two new reports published in the journal Nature illustrate possible flooding due to climate change and a meltdown of the massive West Antarctic ice sheet. In one study, researchers used soil cores below the Ross ice shelf to show that the massive melt took place between 3 million and 5 million years ago. That collapse amounted to an increase of more than 16 feet to global sea level, researchers noted. "What we're seeing in the past would lead us to believe that we are on track for losing...

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2009-03-17 16:27:25

A robot submarine studying the underbelly of an Antarctic ice shelf has found evidence of rising sea levels, scientists reported on Tuesday. Developed by UK's National Oceanography Center of Southampton, Autosub is an Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV). It has completed six missions traveling under Pine Island Glacier, an extension of the West Antarctic ice sheet in the Amundsen Sea. The sub uses sonar to create a three-dimensional map of the seabed and the underside of the ice. Scientists...