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May 20 2014

Quickly Rising Antarctica Suggests 'Runny' Earth


Antarctica is rising unusually quickly, revealing that hot rock in the Earth's mantle hundreds of miles below the icy continent is flowing much faster than expected, researchers say.

Antarctic ice is more than 2.6 miles (4.2 kilometers) thick on some parts of the continent, a reminder that glaciers that were miles thick once covered many parts of Earth's surface. When these ice sheets shrink, as is happening now in the world's polar regions due to climate change, the underlying Earth rebounds upward, like how mattresses typically decompress after people get off them.

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