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Once-stable Antarctic glaciers are now melting rapidly

Antarctic glaciers

A group of glaciers in Antarctica, which were once stable, started rapidly melting in 2009, new research shows.

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A once-steadfast group of Antarctic glaciers has nosedived into rapid decline.

Glaciers along the Southern Antarctic Peninsula remained roughly stable between 2003 and 2009. New satellite observations reveal that the region suddenly destabilized in 2009 and is now shedding around 56 billion metric tons of ice each year, enough water to raise sea levels by roughly 0.16 millimeters.

The researchers believe warm ocean water melted the underside of the ice, undermining the region’s stability and triggering the abrupt decline. Even if this warm water went away, the now destabilized region would continue to shrink until reaching a new equilibrium, the researchers report in the May 22 Science.

Animals

Crows safeguard sticks to speed future food-finding forays

By Ashley Yeager 8:00am, May 20, 2015
New Caledonian crows safeguard the sticks they use to find food. As the risk of losing the tool increases, the more protective the birds become.
Health

Broken bones heal with young blood, how remains a mystery

By Meghan Rosen 11:00am, May 19, 2015
Blood from young mice rejuvenates bones of elderly mice, but how it works remains a mystery.
Planetary Science

Boulders balance on tiny tips as comet 67P zooms through space

By Christopher Crockett 4:38pm, May 18, 2015
Three boulders on comet 67P resemble balancing rocks that are seen on Earth.
Toxicology,, Health

E-cigarette flavorings may harm lungs

By Beth Mole 3:00pm, May 18, 2015
Certain e-cigarette flavors, such as banana pudding, may damage lung tissue
Health

A firm grip may predict risk of death better than blood pressure

By Teresa Shipley Feldhausen 9:00am, May 18, 2015
The strength of people’s grip could predict how likely they are to die if they develop cardiovascular or other diseases.
Animals,, Ecology,, Biophysics

Ants snap jaws, shoot skyward, escape death

By Susan Milius 8:58am, May 15, 2015
Emergency trap jaw launchings help some ants pass death tests.
Genetics,, Health

Quicker sepsis diagnosis may be a step closer

By Ashley Yeager 6:00am, May 14, 2015
Identifying genes linked with sepsis may make it possible to develop a blood test to diagnose the infection days sooner than current methods.
Planetary Science

New Horizons probe takes family photo of Pluto's moons

By Christopher Crockett 3:38pm, May 13, 2015
The New Horizons spacecraft finally spied Pluto's two tiniest satellites, Kerberos and Styx, in a series of images taken from April 25, 2015 to May 1, 2015.
Numbers,, Computing

Computer program rivals top poker players in complex card game

By Andrew Grant 11:45am, May 13, 2015
A computer program held its own against the world’s best heads-up no-limit Texas Hold’em poker players.
Animals,, Evolution

Pruning bug genitals revives puzzle of extra-long males

By Susan Milius 7:29pm, May 12, 2015
Surgical approach highlights question of length mismatch in his and hers morphologies.
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