Sea levels will rise higher and faster than the United Nations predicted just four years ago, a major international study has found.
The new report says that the seas will rise by up to 1.6 metres by the year 2100. The melting will not only affect sea levels; it has the potential to alter sea currents that regulate climate, the report warns:
All the main sources of freshwater entering the Arctic Ocean are increasing — river discharge, rain/snow, and melting glaciers, ice caps, and
the Greenland Ice Sheet. Recent calculations estimate that an extra 7700 km3 of freshwater -– equivalent to one meter of water over the entire land surface of Australia -– has been added to the Arctic Ocean in recent years. There is a risk that this could alter large-scale ocean currents that affect climate on a continental scale.
The report will be presented to the foreign ministers of Arctic nations next week, and is likely to stir more controversy over stalled efforts to curb planet-warming greenhouse gases.
Read the report