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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Melting Rapidly

A recent article in Science has estimated that Antarctica is losing about 36 cubic miles of ice each year. This is equal to 150 cubic km. An article in the Washington Post provides a good synopsis. This is the first evidence of the extent to which the Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking and the extent of melting has surprised many scientists, especially because previous data had shown that some local regions of the Antarctic continent were getting colder. This new information about the Antarctic ice sheet as a whole adds to the already strong evidence of rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice, suggesting that rising sea levels could become a major issue sooner than previously anticipated.


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