Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice SIX TIMES FASTER than in the 1990s with sea levels set to rise 6.6 inches by 2100 — putting 400 million people at flood risk — if global warming goes unchecked
Climate change is causing devastating impacts in Greenland and Antarctica with ice sheets melting six time faster than they did TIMES FASTER than just 20 years ago, warns new research.
Scientists say that the alarming melt rate means that, if left unaddressed, we will see sea levels rising an extra 6.6 inches (17 centimetres) by 2100.
Scientists from 50 international organisations conducted a study on the ice sheets that have been melted to this date.
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Climate change is causing devastating impacts in Greenland (pictured) and Antarctica with ice sheets melting SIX TIMES FASTER than just 20 years ago, warns new research
The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (IMBIE) used 11 different satellite missions and 26 separate surveys to recognise changes in the mass, volume, flow and gravity of the ice sheets.
The findings published in Nature; show that Greenland and Antarctica lost 6..4 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992-2017, increasing sea levels by 17.8 mm.
Of the total sea level rise, 60 per cent was due to Greenland ice losses and 40 per cent was due to Antarctica.
The study was led by Professor Andrew Shepherd at the University of Leeds and Dr Erik Ivins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Prof Shepherd said: ‘Every centimetre of sea level rise leads to coastal flooding and coastal erosion, disrupting people’s lives around the planet.
‘If Antarctica and Greenland continue to track the worst-case climate warming scenario, they will cause an extra 17 centimetres of sea level rise by the end of the century.
‘This would mean 400 million people are at risk of annual coastal flooding by 2100.
‘These are not unlikely events with small impacts; they are already underway and will be devastating for coastal communities.’
The combined rate of ice melting has increased from 81 billion tonnes per year in 1990’s to 475 billion tonnes per year in the 2010’s.
Scientists say that the alarming melt rate means that, if left unaddressed, we will see sea levels rising an extra 6.6 inches (17 centimetres) by 2100
Scientists from 50 international organisations conducted a study on the ice sheets that have been melted to this date
Dr Ivins said: ‘Satellite observations of polar ice are essential for monitoring and predicting how climate change could affect ice losses and sea level rise.
‘While computer simulation allows us to make projections from climate change scenarios, the satellite measurements provide prima facie, rather irrefutable, evidence.
‘Our project is a great example of the importance of international collaboration to tackle problems that are global in scale.’
ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said: ‘The findings reported by IMBIE demonstrate the fundamental importance of using satellites to monitor the evolution of ice sheets, and for evaluating models used to predict the effects of climate change.’
The study concludes that ice sheets are responsible for a third of all sea level increases and is rising faster than expected.
The full findings of the study were published in the journal Nature.
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