Scientists map huge rivers of Antarctic ice flowing into the seas in climate change "breakthrough"

Huge rivers of ice that flow into the sea from deep within Antarctica have been mapped for the first time.

The breakthrough could be crucial in tracking future sea levels as part of the battle against climate change, according to the scientists who undertook the study.

A team led by Professor Eric Rignot from the University of California at Irvine produced a 'jigsaw' of the glacial formations using data from European, Japanese and Canadian satellites.

When the full picture was revealed it showed a new ridge splitting the 5.4million square-mile landmass from east to west.

They also uncovered previously unidentified ice formations seen moving up to 800 feet per year across immense plains towards the Southern Ocean.

They were also moving in a way not predicted by past models of ice migration.

Professor Rignot said: 'This is like seeing a map of all the oceans' currents for the first time. It's a game changer for glaciology.

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More news coverage of the recently released map: