New research that examined the ridges on the sea bed in Antarctica suggests that floating ice shelves could melt back by 6 miles (about 10km) per year. Although some scientists dispute the findings of the study, if correct it could have major implications. Melting at this rate could mean sea level rises around the world would be quicker and more dramatic than existing predictions.

According to an article in Inside Climate News, the fastest retreat rates at the moment “are more than half a mile per year for the ice shelves extending from the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, and 1.2 miles per year for the one below the Smith Glacier, which is also in West Antarctica.”

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