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Posted Fri Jul 1 2011: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Ocean currents speed melting of Antarctic ice
Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say - a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels.... "More warm water from the deep ocean is entering the cavity beneath the ice shelf, and it is warmest where the ice is thickest," said study's lead author.... One goal was to study oceanic changes near the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, which they had visited in an earlier expedition, in 1994. The researchers found that in 15 years, melting beneath the ice shelf had risen by about 50 percent.
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, ocean warming, melting glaciers, rising sea level]

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