The deluge: the Global sea level rapidly rises

The Ice Sheets Are Melting Faster Than Ever, Raising Sea Levels Even More

Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are accelerating the pace of sea level rise, according to new satellite research.

Steve Nerem, lead author from the University of Colorado, says, "It's a big deal".

Scientists at the American Geophysical Union meeting previous year said that Antarctica may be melting faster than previously thought, though Greenland has caused three times more sea level rise, comparatively.

The cause of the floods that hit the coasts of South Florida, Bangladesh, Shanghai and parts of Washington experts call catastrophic melting of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica due to global warming.

After examining satellite data over 25 years, American scientists have found that sea level is rising unstable: this process is accelerated.

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If the rate of ocean rise continues to change at this pace, the researchers suggest, sea level will rise 26 inches (65 centimeters) by 2100. A United Nations draft resolution gathered scientific study results on climate change, and the summary reported that there is a very high and likely risk for Earth's temperature to reach and exceed 1.5 degrees over industrial levels. Extreme water levels, such as high tides and surges from strong storms, would be made exponentially worse.

Nerem and his team took into account natural changes in sea level thanks to cycles such as El Niño/La Niña and even events such as the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, which altered sea levels worldwide for several years. Second, melting land ice flows into the ocean, also increasing sea level across the globe.

The researchers used data from other scientific missions such as GRACE, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, to determine what was causing the rate to accelerate. The projected sea level rise is only a conservative estimate; the levels could go higher.

Currently, over half of the observed rise is the result of "thermal expansion": As ocean water warms, it expands, and sea levels rise. However, Nerem adds "given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that's not likely" and the acceleration will increase as Earth continues to heat up and ice sheets melt.

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