The rate of global sea level rise is accelerating as ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland melt, an analysis of the first 25 years of satellite data confirms.
It was thought sea level rise was accelerating at steady 3mm a year
Analysis of first 25 years of satellite data shows rate going up by 3mm a year, plus 0.08mm a year, every year.
Acceleration largely being driven by melting of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and likely to increase in future, say scientists
The study, by US scientists, has calculated the rate of global mean sea level rise is not just going up at a steady rate of 3mm a year, but has been increasing by an additional 0.08mm a year, every year since 1993.
If the rate of change continues at this pace, global mean sea levels will rise 61 centimetres between now and 2100, they report today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“That’s basically double the amount you would get if you only had 3 mm a year with no acceleration,” said the study’s lead author Steven Nerem of the University of Colorado.
But that figure, which is broadly in line with climate modelling, is likely to be a conservative estimate of global mean sea level rise in the future, said Professor Nerem.