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Fear of ‘catastrophic’ sea-level rise as ice sheets melt faster than predicted

December 21, 2013

Full Article at http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/fear-of-catastrophic-sealevel-rise-as-ice-sheets-melt-faster-than-predicted-8440277.html

By Steve Conner

Glaciologists fear they may have seriously underestimated the potential for melting ice sheets to contribute to catastrophic sea-level rises in coming decades which could see increases of a metre or more by 2100.

The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contain about 99.5 per cent of the Earth’s glacier ice and could raise sea levels by 65 metres if they melted completely – although experts think this is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. However, a survey of the world’s top 26 glaciologists found most believe melting of the ice sheets could be more rapid and severe than previously estimated. They believe that melting of the ice sheets alone this century would be likely to raise the average global sea level by 29cm, the poll found, but there is a five per cent chance of it increasing even further by a catastrophic 84cm.

This would take the total sea-level increase to well over a metre if other factors such as the thermal expansion of oceans and runoff from mountain glaciers are taken into account.

Full Article at http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/fear-of-catastrophic-sealevel-rise-as-ice-sheets-melt-faster-than-predicted-8440277.html

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