New Scientist: 22 October 2005.
"Southern Ice Pours Into Seas"
"Climate change scientists have been proven wrong - but the sceptics
won't be crowing.
Just 4 years ago the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
predicted that Antarctica would not contribute significantly to sea
level rise in the 21st century. But glaciologists meeting at the Royal
Society in London this week argued that the continent could already be
the partial cause of rising sea levels.
The edge of the Antartic ice sheets are crumbling at an unprecedented
rate, says Andy Shepherd of the University of Cambridge. In one area,
around the Amundsen Sea in West Antartica, the Pine Island and Thwaites
glaciers are dumping more than 110 cublic kilometres of ice each year.
Warmer ocean waters circulating beneath the two glaciers are melting
their bases and triggering an ever-faster slide into the ocean. The 2
glaciers are discharging ice 3 times as fast as a decade ago, and if
they disappeared completely they could raise sea levels worldwide by
more than a metre on their own.
Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
reported that in many places the break-up of floating ice shelves at the
continents edge has triggered faster flows."