How Does the Antarctic Ice Sheet Affect Sea Level Rise?

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Science  24 Jun 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5730, pp. 1877-1878
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114670

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Global sea levels are predicted to rise as a result of global warming, but many contributions to this sea level rise are poorly understood. The contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet is particularly uncertain. In his Perspective, Vaughan highlights the report by Davis et al. , who have used satellite data to compile an 11-year record of surface elevation change in Antarctica. The resulting maps show that the ice sheet is thickening in some areas and thinning in others. Vaughan cautions that the complex patterns of change in Antarctica preclude prediction of which effect will dominate in the future.