A team of international researchers determined that the rapid increase of the sea levels is due, in a significant part, by the Greenland melt. The team also concluded that the rise in water levels increased, on its own, by 50 percent.
A study paper with the results is available in the journal Nature Climate Change.
This new research was carried out by an international team of scientists. Some of them are part of CSIRO Australia, Universities of NSW, Arizona, and Tasmania, or the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology. They based their study on refined satellite estimate data.
Study results show that the increase in global sea levels increased in just a little over 20 years. Back in 1993, global waters rose by 2.2 millimeters each year. As of 2014, they increase by 3.3 millimeters on a yearly basis.
Besides discovering this unexpected increase, the research team will now be looking to determine another fact. They will look to find out why this accelerated sea level rise is not accurately represented in altimeters data.
Greenland Melt, Stuck in A Vicious Circle?
The research team is still uncertain what caused this accelerated increase in the rising waters. However, the scientists believe that it may be due to surface melting. Or possibly because of the gradual discharge of ice into oceans. These are all theories based on estimates gathered from the Greenland melt.
Reports show that such events caused a shift of mass, one from the Greenland Ice Sheet and towards the ocean. This also usually implies a rise in sea levels.
As part of their study, the team also took into account other elements such as thermal expansion, land ice melting, and several other such environmental changes,
Back in 1993, the Greenland melt only contributed to some 5 percent of the sea level rise. In 2014, it was already contributing with 25 percent.
“At this stage, I can’t say if it will continue at this rate or speed up. [..] if we don’t do anything to manage this calamity … the contribution from the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic will continue to increase,” stated Dr. Zhang.
Xuebin Zhang is a study co-author and a senior scientist at CSIRO.
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