The middle of the West Antarctic ice sheet — one of the world’s largest collections of water — is shrinking and could contribute to a dramatic rise in global sea levels, according to a study published in the journal Science. The researchers found that part of the ice sheet, the Pine Island Glacier, thinned by 30 to 36 feet and retreated by three miles from 1992 to 1999. No one is certain, of course, but global warming might be driving the change. Andrew Shepherd, the lead author of the study from the University College London, noted, “The disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves is a commonly predicted effect of global warming.”