Since air temperatures have not risen appreciably in the Antarctic--at least not yet--compared to a fairly dramatic rise in the Arctic, scientists had not expected to find much in the way of melting to the South. It turns out, however, that because the ocean itself is getting warmer, the portion of ice in Antarctica that sits on the water is melting, more so than previously thought.
Significantly, in the most recent IPCC report on global warming, the forecast sea level rise by the end of the century, which was modest, excluded any contribution from melting in Antarctica and Greenland, the two potentially largest contributors to rising oceans. By the time of the next IPCC report, additional data may merit some rather dramatic revisions to the predictions for coastal flooding.
We do wish, however, that the Post's article--similar ones in other publications--had addressed the data from this past summer (the Antarctic winter) reporting that sea ice formation was at a record high, which is certainly different than one would expect with warming. There may be reasonable explanations for both the observed melting and the anomolous record ice formation, but we'd like to hear them, and, at a minimum, have the ice formation story acknowledged when reading stories about melting in Antarctica.
As for the Curmudgeon, we're sticking to mountain properties for our old age.