West Antarctic Ice Sheet Archives - State of the Planet

Short-Term Ocean Temperature Shifts Are Affecting West Antarctic Ice, Says Study

Scientists have known for some time that ice shelves off West Antarctica are melting as deep, warm ocean waters eat at their undersides, but a new study shows that temperatures, and resultant melting, can vary far more than previously thought, within a time scale of a few years.

by |August 13, 2018
snowmobile drags radar across West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Shrinking Ice Sheet Made A Surprising Comeback

Thousands of years ago, the West Antarctic ice sheet shrank dramatically—then grew back in an unexpected way.

by |June 13, 2018
traversing the thwaites glacier

U.S., UK Scientists Join to Study Possible Collapse of Massive Antarctic Glacier

An international collaboration will study the wasting of the Thwaites glacier, which already accounts for around 4 percent of current global sea-level rise, and could collapse within decades or centuries.

by |April 30, 2018

Exploring Beneath Earth’s Changing Ice Sheets

If just the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt, it would raise global sea level by 6 meters. That’s more than a theoretical problem. West Antarctica is losing ice mass, and scientists are worried.

by |November 24, 2015

Antarctica’s Retreating Ice

While the ice sheets on West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are usually the ones to make the news in relation to climate change, recent studies have documented transformations that are taking place on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet as well. On the continent as a whole, large areas of ice have already melted and this trend shows no sign of slowing, meaning the implications for global sea level rise in this century could be more dramatic than earlier projections anticipated.