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Ice shelves hold back Antarctica's glaciers from adding to sea levels – but they're crumbling

By Alexander Fraser, Senior Researcher in Antarctic Remote Sensing, University of Tasmania
Chad Greene, Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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As Antarctica’s slow rivers of ice hit the sea, they float, forming ice shelves. These shelves extend the glaciers into the ocean until they calve into icebergs.

But they also play a crucial role in maintaining the world as we know it, by acting as a brake on how fast the glaciers can flow into the ocean. If they weren’t there, the glaciers would flow faster into the sea and melt, causing sea levels to rise.
Unfortunately, Antarctica’s ice shelves are not what they were. In research published today in…The Conversation


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