Less ice, more seawater

Shrinking ice sheets contribute to rising sea levels, large-scale study confirms

By Stephen Ornes, 13:00 PM December 20, 2012

Meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet carved this canyon.Credit: Ian Joughin

When an ice cube melts, it creates a puddle. When an ice sheet melts, it raises sea levels. It sounds simple, but scientists have debated for decades whether both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets actually were shrinking — and how much that melting contributed to rising sea levels.

Now, a new study has provided the best evidence yet of how the polar ice sheets are responding to our warming world. In the study, published in November, an international team of scientists looked at 20 ye...

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