New satellite research revealed that sea-level rise increased around the world due to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.
According to the study detailing the finds, the current rate of melting would see the world’s oceans rise 2 feet higher by the end of the century compared to today.
Sea-level rise is caused by warming of the ocean and melting from ice sheets and glaciers. The world’s oceans have risen nearly 8 inches since 1880, however, the increase is not distributed evenly. 55 percent of the 3-inch sea-level rise in the past quarter century was linked to warmer water expanding, and the rest was caused by melting ice.
The latest study found that at least three-quarters of the acceleration since 1993 is due to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.
Scientists warn that global warming will the main cause of future sea-level rise.
To reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed 25 years-worth of satellite data to conclude that the accelerate sea-level rise is mainly caused by the melting of massive ice sheets. The statement echoes scientists’ computer simulations as well as United Nations predictions.
“This acceleration… has the potential to double the total sea-level rise by 2100 as compared to projections that assume a constant rate—to more than 2 feet instead of about 1 foot,” notes Steve Nerem, lead author of the study and a professor of aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Professor Nerem calls the ongoing phenomenon a “big deal” mainly because the study gave a conservative estimate and the sea-level rise increase is likely to be higher. He claims that the added two feet of water by the end of the century would mostly affect coastal cities such as Miami and New Orleans.
The study was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.
Image Source: Ncptt.gov