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The seemingly inevitable collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet and the associated sea-level rise are happening faster than previously thought.

Earlier this year, two papers revealed that several glaciers on the West Antarctic ice sheet seemed to be on an unstoppable retreat into the sea and will collapse completely in the next 200 to 1000 years, raising sea levels by about 60 centimetres.

Because the glaciers help to stabilise the ice sheet, that could mean the whole sheet is doomed, causing around 4 metres of sea-level rise.

Now, Sunke Schmidtko from the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, and his colleagues have revealed some of the processes that are driving the melting.

To read more, click here.