Scientists Suggest New Threat to Antarctic Ice

Changes in flow of ice streams in Antarctica might suggest world entering new glacial period rather than global warming.

Published: 17-Dec-2000

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The West Antarctic ice sheet, closely watched as an indicator of the impact of global warming, may be imperiled by a different threat -- a slowing of the "ice streams" which nourish the massive shelf.

Scientists told a meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Friday that new research indicated the ice streams could be slowing because of the gradually changing shape of the ice sheet over the past 10,000 years.

Slawek Tulaczyk, an assistant professor of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said the new model proposed that the ice streams -- fast, river-like flows which move ice out into ice shelves floating on the sea -- were slowing and in some cases stopping altogether.



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