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Getting Up Close With A Melting Antarctic Glacier To Study Sea Level Rise

As the Nathaniel B. Palmer ship traced the edge of the Thwaites ice shelf fro...

Credit: Credit: Carolyn Beeler, The World

Above: As the Nathaniel B. Palmer ship traced the edge of the Thwaites ice shelf from east to west, it reached portions of the glacier that were more degraded.

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The view is thrilling and other-worldly. But the real-world implications of the research could be devastating for the planet.

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Aired: May 20, 2019 | Transcript

A scientific expedition to Antarctica is allowing researchers to get a rare view of the Thwaites Glacier, which juts out of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

The view is thrilling and other-worldly. But the real-world implications of the research could be devastating for the planet.

The Florida-sized glacier is melting and it has the potential, by itself, to cause sea levels to rise two feet globally. A new study found near 25 percent of the ice sheet is unstable.

Photo credit: Courtesy of "The World"

Carolyn Beeler, environment reporter for "The World," in an undated photo.

Carolyn Beeler, an environment reporter for "The World," spent more than a month on board the research ship Nathaniel B. Palmer traveling to Antarctica earlier this year.

She joins Midday Edition on Monday to talk about what researchers are trying to understand about the melting glacier.

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