PerspectiveClimate

How Antarctica got its ice

Science  01 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6281, pp. 34-35
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6284

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Summary

Ice sheets such as those on Greenland and Antarctica today not only respond to changing climate but can also cause climate to change. Their sizes have fluctuated substantially in the past. In particular, Antarctica was effectively ice-free until its ice cover began to expand rapidly at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary around 34 million years ago (see the figure). Recent research, including a report by Galeotti et al. on page 76 of this issue (1), helps to identify the mechanisms that led to this rapid ice sheet growth.

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