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Based on the name alone, most would assume that global warming at its worst would mean a spike in the planet’s overall temperature. That’s the gist of it, but there are other circumstances and side effects that are worth keeping in mind — and consequences that scientists are uncovering day by day. As it so happens, one of those could mean that the planet’s shape is at risk.

Thankfully, it doesn’t mean that the earth will become flat or a big blue cube anytime soon. What it does mean, however, is that the extra heat could lead to greater glacial activity. Since their melting can also lead to their motion — by virtue of the new water acting as a lubricant — glaciers and ice sheets can potentially move enough to cause major erosion. It’s entirely possible for them to dig valleys and cast sediment into the ocean; that in turn could impact dams, mountain water, and fisheries — and all of the animals that swim within.

The theory comes from data gathered by Michele Koppes, an assistant professor from the University of British Columbia who conducted research with her team over the course of five years. They’ve long since documented the changes, but that means that potentially, the ice’s state can change even more — so we can only hope that the worst doesn’t come to pass.