Environment News Service
BOULDER, Colorado, July 20, 2007 (ENS) - Sea level rise this century may be greater than previously thought, posing risks to hundreds of millions of people who live close to the world's oceans, concludes a new study of ice loss from glaciers and ice caps. The researchers say that in the near future, the giant Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will contribute less to sea level rise than glaciers and ice caps.
Scientists with the University of Colorado-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, INSTAAR, and the Russian Academy of Sciences conclude that glaciers and ice caps now contribute about 60 percent of the ice melting into the oceans and the rate has been accelerating over the past decade.
"One reason for this study is the widely held view that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will be the principal causes of sea-level rise," says lead author Emeritus Professor Mark Meier, former INSTAAR director and CU-Boulder professor in geological sciences.
"But we show that it is the glaciers and ice caps, not the two large ice sheets, that will be the big players in sea rise for at least the next few generations, he says. Read More