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In Brief

Future of Vanishing Antarctic Ice

A simulation of the retreating Amundsen Sea Embayment
A simulation of the retreating Amundsen Sea Embayment. (Image credit: Antony Payne and Stephen Cornford, University of Bristol)

Loooook into the crystal ball, or in this case, your liquid crystal computer screen. Flowing ice waxes and wanes, as thinning glaciers retreat from Antarctica's Amundsen Sea. The Texas-sized region holds some of the fastest-changing ice sheets on the planet, and scientists are keen to predict their response to polar climate change.

A new video vividly illustrates a couple possible futures, from minimal effects to dramatic ice loss. If the ice streams flowing into the Amundsen Sea melt completely, global sea levels would rise 1 foot (30 centimeters), said a statement from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LLBL).

Watch the video at LLBL.

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Becky Oskin
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.