In recent years global warming has left its mark on the Antarctic ice sheets. The ‘eternal’ ice in Antarctica is melting faster than previously assumed, particularly in West Antarctica more than East Antarctica. The root for this could lie in its formation, as an international research team has now discovered: sediment samples from drill cores combined with complex climate and ice-sheet modelling show that permanent glaciation of Antarctica began around 34 million years ago — but did not encompass the entire continent as previously assumed, but rather was confined to the eastern region of the continent (East Antarctica).