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Sea Levels

Ice loss is accelerating in Greenland and Antarctica: NASA study

The UN climate change panel’s projections for the rising of sea levels no longer appears realistic, as the global ice loss rate continues to accelerate, say researchers.

TWO OF THE world’s largest ice sheets have been melting at a rapidly accelerating pace over the past 20 years, causing the global sea level to rise more than expected, according to a study supported by NASA.

The study indicates that the United Nations climate change panel’s 2007 projections for the rising of sea levels is not realistic, Bloomberg reports. Sea levels have been rising by approximately 3mm each year, spurred on by the loss of about 36.3 billion tonnes of ice from the two regions each year.

The study, due to be published in the Geophysical Research Letters in the coming days, points out that Greenland has been losing almost 22 gigatonnes of ice each year, while the larger and colder Antarctic is losing 14.5 gigatonnes anually, reports the BBC.

If this rate of ice loss continues, a further 15cm could be added to the average global sea level in the next 40 years, according to the report.

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