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Rising ground under West Antarctica could prevent ice sheet collapse

West Antarctic Ice sheet as viewed from a NASA aircraft.
A section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet with mountains is viewed from a window of a NASA Operation IceBridge airplane on October 31, 2016 in-flight over Antarctica. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images.

A new study finds that the ground underneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet region is rebounding, or rising, at an extraordinarily rapid rate.

Why this matters: Previous research has shown that enough ice has already melted in this region to trigger a potentially irreversible melt of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which would sharply increase sea levels worldwide. Now, though, scientists may have identified a new brake on this runaway train.