http://www.livescience.com/19914-antarctic-ice-melt.html Scientists have long known that the wide platforms of ice extending from the southernmost continent have been shrinking away. But what's behind the melting hasn't been clear — whether warm ocean currents or surface winds have a bigger impact on the ice. Now, a new satellite survey of Antarctica places the blame largely on the water. "In most places in Antarctica, we can't explain the ice-shelf thinning through melting of snow at the surface," said study team member Hamish Pritchard of the British Antarctic Survey in a statement. "So it has to be driven by warm ocean currents melting them from below." [Images: Tracking a Retreating Glacier] The team's results represent the culmination of a massive international effort to observe the loss of Antarctic ice from the skies. Using NASA's ICESat satellite, the researchers closely monitored how the thickness of West and East Antarctica's ice changed over time. In some cases, Pritchard said, shelves thinned by as much as several meters each year. And the pattern of that melting, he added, suggested that at least 20 out of 54 observed platforms of ice across the continent were being melted largely by the oceans below, much like a warm drink consuming ice cubes. http://www.livescience.com/19930-water-cycle-global-warming-ocean-salt.html Global warming is revving up the planet's cycle of evaporation and precipitation, making wet places even wetter and dry places dryer, a new study suggests.