Louisiana State University
Ice-cover on Antarctica is contained in three distinct ice sheets (West Antarctic Ice Sheet, East Antarctic Sheet, and Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet) rather than constituting a single glacial system. Phil Bart is an associate professor at Louisiana State University. He and his students are currently funded by NSF to collect marine seismic data from all three ice sheets. One major result obtained thus far is that all three systems experienced major expansions into the marine realm during the early Pliocene when global climates were warmer than present. This supports some numerical models that predict that future global warming could have the unexpected effect of causing the ice sheets to expand. At present, the continent contains sufficient ice volume to raise global sea level by 70 meters if the ice were melted and returned to the global ocean.
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