The Associated Press reports:
Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are speeding up the already fast pace of sea level rise, new satellite research shows. At the current rate, the world’s oceans on average will be at least 2 feet (61 centimeters) higher by the end of the century compared to today, according to researchers who published in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.
Sea level rise is caused by warming of the ocean and melting from glaciers and ice sheets. The research, based on 25 years of satellite data, shows that pace has quickened, mainly from the melting of massive ice sheets. It confirms scientists’ computer simulations and is in line with predictions from the United Nations, which releases regular climate change reports.
“It’s a big deal” because the projected sea level rise is a conservative estimate and it is likely to be higher, said lead author Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado. Outside scientists said even small changes in sea levels can lead to flooding and erosion.
Photo via NASA.