Scientists say part of the largest ice shelf in the world, the size of France, is melting 10 times faster than expected, because the sea is warming.
Studies show the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating slab of Antarctic ice, several hundred meters thick, are more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought.
Loss of shelf removes bar & # 39; er on the glaciers, transporting water to the ocean, allowing the sea level will rise.
The four-year research group at Cambridge University investigated how the north-west of the ice interacted with the ocean beneath.
The former Cambridge scholar Dr. Craig Stewart said: "The stability of the shelf is generally considered to be related to their exposure to warm deep ocean water, but we found that the solar heated water surface also plays an important role in the melting of ice shelves."
Temperature, salinity, and the melt ocean currents were measured using instruments passed through 260m (850ft) the well.
Oceanography mooring installed under ice shelf has also been used for data collection and custom made radar system was used to examine the changing thickness of the ice.
Command found that the water surface is heated by the sun flows into the cavity under the ice shelves, whereby the melt rates almost three times the summer.
Dr Stewart added: "Climate change is likely to lead to a decrease in the sea ice and the high temperatures of the ocean surface in the Ross Sea, believing that the melt rate in this region will grow in the future."
Co-author Dr Poul Christoffersen, from the Research Institute Scott Polar Cambridge University, pointed out that the collapse of ice shelves can double or triple the rate at which glaciers flow to the ocean.
"The difference is the sheer size of the Ross Ice Shelf, which is more than 100 times larger than the ice shelf we've seen disappear.
"The observations we have made in the front of the shelf have a direct impact on many large glaciers flowing down to the ice shelf, some as far as 900 kilometers (559 miles) away."
Findings were published in the latest application of the magazine Nature Geoscience.