Earth's vast polar ice caps reflect sunlight, keeping the planet cool. As they melt, global warming accelerates. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that the ice-packed caps may disappear between 2050 and 2100, but the panel admits that its prediction of the year they completely melt is only a guess. Now, by making detailed measurements of the polar ice's permeability, using models originally conceived for solid-state semiconductors, scientists are refining global warming predictions. University of Utah mathematician Ken Golden is currently on an Australian research ship in the Antarctic, pioneering the electronic modeling of ice permeability.