He said the team’s research could be used to focus on which sections of West Antarctica are most vulnerable to the current climate crisis. When these winds blow over mountains, they remove snow and ice, allowing ancient ice to come to the surface. Melting of ice in Greenland has pushed the world’s oceans up by 10.6mm since the sheets were first monitored by satellite in the 1990s, while Antarctic ice has contributed a further 7.2mm, according to a study by scientists at the University of Leeds and the Danish Meteorological Institute. The authors warn the sheets are losing ice at the worst-case rate forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC. Sea level rise is a natural consequence of the warming of our planet. “The melting is overtaking the climate models we use to guide us, and we are in danger of being unprepared for the risks posed by sea level rise,” he added. Mass melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet, driven by warmer ocean temperatures, was a major cause of extreme sea level rise more than 100,000 … Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Global sea levels have historically mostly increased due to a mechanism called thermal expansion, which means that volume of seawater expands as it gets warmer. Turney said the current summer in Australia alone had shown the dangers of a warming world just at 1C. Sea levels will rise by a further 17cm and put 16 million people at risk of yearly coastal flooding if global warming continues apace, British and Danish researchers warned. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. The only current ice sheets are in Antarctica and Greenland; during the last glacial period at Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered much of North America, the Weichselian ice sheet covered northern Europe and the Patagonian Ice Sheet covered southern South America. This means that melting of ice has now taken over as the main contributor of sea level rise. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at a rate which matches climate scientists’ worst-case scenario forecasts and has raised the global sea level by 1.8cm in the past two decades. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Antarctica logs hottest temperature on record with a reading of 18.3C. “As you walk towards the mountain, you walk over increasingly older ice,” Turney said. But Ruth Mottram, climate researcher at the Danish Meteorological Institute, said: “It is not only Antarctica and Greenland that are causing the water to rise. Sarri is the word for pack ice, tuvaqtaq is bottom-fast ice, and shore-fast ice is tuvaq. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? The latest measurements show the world’s seas are now rising by 4mm each year. He said the research also suggested this mass melting happened quite early during the ocean warming “somewhere between zero and 2C”. “This has been a big concern and is what the concern is in the present day,” Turney said. A researcher holds ancient air trapped as gas bubbles within ice. Mass melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet, driven by warmer ocean temperatures, was a major cause of extreme sea level rise more than 100,000 years ago, according to new research. That’s enough to double the frequency of storm-surge flooding in many of the world’s largest coastal cities.”. “Although we anticipated the ice sheets would lose increasing amounts of ice in response to the warming of the oceans and atmosphere, the rate at which they are melting has accelerated faster than we could have imagined,” said the study’s lead author, Tom Slater, a climate researcher at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at a rate which matches climate scientists’ worst-case scenario forecasts and has raised the global sea level by 1.8cm in the past two decades.