“We have always had a great uncertainty over the contribution of the large ice sheets, which store 100 times more sea level equivalents than glaciers,” the researcher states.
The new research demonstrates that the impact of Greenland and Antarctica’s ice sheets melting rapidly over the last 20 or 30 years has been greater than expected.
What is more, it is likely to result in a greater future sea level rise than previously predicted, a forecast which might bode a lot of trouble for coastal areas around the world.
“Cities like Miami, Florida, which are already impacted by sea level rise will experience much more coastal flooding and much stronger storm surges than have been observed so far,” Dangendorf says.
Dangendorf and his team took historical data from tide gauges, which were used to measure coastal changes until 1992, and compared them to more precise satellite information gathered in subsequent decades.
Since satellites capable of monitoring sea levels were only launched in the early 1990s, in order to make the data as consistent as possible, the researchers adjusted the earlier results from tide gauges to reflect different factors that may affect sea-level rise in a given local region.
It is widely acknowledged that it is hard to predict the scope of global sea level rise resulting from global warming.
Projections published in the Fifth Assessment Report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned of an increase of around 30 centimeters (1 foot) to 1 meter (more than three feet) by 2100.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN body, recently announced that a new record temperature has been measured for the Antarctica.