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Big Antarctic ice sheet appears doomed

Warming climate predicted to trigger collapse of Filchner-Ronne shelf by 2100

9:31am, May 10, 2012

A massive slab of floating ice that juts from Antarctica’s west coast could be in hot water soon. Warm ocean currents threaten to sneak up from below and torpedo the ice in coming decades, researchers report in the May 10 Nature.

The degradation of the historically stable Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf would upset ice on land, triggering runaway melting over a vast region of the continent and accelerating global sea level rise.

“The loss of this ice shelf would be catastrophic,” says Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the University of Washington. “We could be looking at tens of centimeters or even meters of sea level rise.” The finding is in

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