Rising sea levels are one of the major consequences of global warming. This could be most evident in the vast west Antarctica ice sheet. But a new study done by us researchers of the region's several inland ice rivers shows that after a long period of rapid movement and thinning, their flow is slowing, and as a result, they are growing thicker. The change means that this part of western Antarctica is likely to serve as a frozen bank for water instead of a source, slightly countering an overall trend toward rising seas. According to the researchers, the change appears to be related to the slow warming that has been going on since the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, and not the accelerated warming trend (www.nytimes.com, January 18, 2002).
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