Some 14,000 km from Japan, a 33-member team is researching a wide range of issues on global warming at Showa Station, Japan's Antarctic research center.

A key pursuit in the research is how global warming is affecting the continent, premised on the notion that rising sea temperatures may be causing glaciers to melt faster.

Takeshi Tamura, an associate professor of polar oceanography at the National Institute of Polar Research, said warmer seas may have flowed underneath the glacier in Antarctica's Lutzow-Holm Bay, causing it to melt faster. This in turn could cause global sea levels to rise, said the 37-year-old Tamura, who heads the research.