Polar ice experts warned Wednesday that a Texas-size block of ice in the Antarctic has thinned surprisingly fast. The Amundsen Sea Embayment contains enough water to elevate sea levels worldwide nearly 20 feet.
The wind change, they said, appeared to be the result of several factors, including global warming, ozone depletion in the atmosphere and natural variability.
The thinning in the two-mile-(3.2-km)- thick ice shelf is being observed mostly from satellites, but it is not known how much ice has been lost because data is difficult to obtain on the remote ice shelves, they said.
Study is focusing on the Amundsen Sea Embayment because it has been melting quickly and holds enough water to raise world sea levels six meters, or close to 20 feet, the scientists said.