Date: 1/2/2003

Rocks in Antarctica have provided the most direct evidence yet that parts of the ice sheet have been naturally melting for thousands of years.

The research, published in the journal Science, suggested that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been melting and constantly contributing water to the ocean over the last ten thousand years. And if melting carries on at the same pace, within another seven thousand years an area of about 930,000 sq/km will have disappeared.

The study states that measuring changes in the ice sheets are major challenges for modern glaciology. But it is important to see any changes in the context of what has naturally been happening over many millennia.

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