Icy discovery by researchers

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SHEFFIELD University experts have been part of a UK team which made an important discovery as part of research into climate change.

The scientists found ice-sheet retreat can halt temporarily during long phases of climate warming.

The team has found the geometry of channels beneath the ice can be a strong control on ice behaviour, temporarily hiding the signals of retreat.

The findings, which provide the first simulation of past ice-sheet retreat and collapse over a 10,000 year period in Antarctica, shed new light on what makes ice stable or unstable and will help refine predictions of future ice extent and global sea-level rise.

Dr Stephen Livingstone, from the university’s geography department, said: “By surveying former ice stream landscapes, we can significantly improve understanding of ice-stream retreat.”