|UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: Science for a changing world.|
The principal geographic features of Antarctica, including the ice shelves.
Note the scale. The area shown is enormous! Melting of the West Antarctica part of the Antarctic ice sheet alone could cause a worldwide sea-level rise of approximately 8 m.
|The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 73 m. In spite of its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is poorly known; it is not known whether the ice sheet is growing or shrinking. As a result, measurement of changes in the Antarctic ice sheet has been given a very high priority.|