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Polar ice melt raises sea level dangers

(Climate News Network, 19 Mar 2020) Greenland’s polar ice is now melting far faster than 30 years ago, Antarctic ice is retreating at an accelerating rate, and sea levels are creeping up.

Greenland and Antarctica, the two greatest stores of frozen water on the planet, are now losing polar ice at a rate at least six times faster than they were at the close of the last century.

The fact that polar ice is melting ever faster has been clear for a decade, but the latest research is authoritative.

To establish the rate of loss, 89 polar scientists from 50 of the world’s great research institutions looked at data from 26 separate surveys between 1992 and 2018, along with information from 11 different satellite missions.

Gloomiest forecasts

And the finding is in line with the worst-case scenarios considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). If this rate of increase continues, sea levels at the close of this century will be at least 17 centimetres higher than the gloomiest official forecasts so far.

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Climate News Network, 19 Mar 2020: Polar ice melt raises sea level dangers