Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier is in a self-sustaining retreat, researchers say. "You can think of PIG like a ball. It's been kicked and it's just going to keep on rolling for the foreseeable future," said British Antarctic Survey's Hilmar Gudmundsson, whose team has been modeling the glacier along with other researchers in the U.K., France and China. They say that much of the glacier's retreat is occurring because a large part of it rests below sea level and slopes back toward the continent, which produces marine ice sheet instability.

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