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6-12

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Antarctic Ice: Sea Level Change

In 1995 and again in 2002, large fragments of the Larsen Ice Shelf sheared away from Antarctica's West Ice Sheet. In the second event, an area the size of Rhode Island collapsed from the sheet. Although these dramatic events did not add to the modest 8-cm rise in global sea level experienced over the past 50 years, much of the predicted 25-cm (or greater) rise in the next century may result from the incremental melting and growing instability of the world's glaciers. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, learn what might happen to the global sea level if atmospheric warming precipitated the collapse of Antarctica's West Sheet.

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