New data shows that ice located in Greenland and Antarctica is melting at a rate which is six times faster than it was three decades ago, boosting the global sea level. It is estimated that by 2100 hundreds of regions that house approximately 400 million people could be flooded annually.
More than 6.4 trillion tons of ice have disappeared from 1992 to 2017, increasing the global sea level by almost 2 centimeters (approximately one inch). The results come from a complex study that was elaborated by a massive team of 89 researchers.
The heatwave, which was recorded in the summer of 2019, is likely to overtake the record values, which were measured in 2011 when 522 billion tons of ice was lost. To put the amount into a practical perspective, it was the equivalent of the water found in 8 Olympic-grade swimming basins released in the ocean once per second.
Polar Ice Melts Now Six Times Faster Than In 1980
At this point, the increase of the seal level is less noticeable than the magnitude of climate-influenced hurricanes. Still, the long-time risks are quite high, and the impact could generate losses of billions of dollars as land would be compromised along with any real estate properties.
Additional centimeters may not seem to be a threat. Still, they have the potential to evolve into meters in the following centuries, while also increasing the destructive capabilities of savage tropical storms that can already cause a significant amount of damage.
Glaciers and the expansion of warm ocean water have been deeded to be the primary sources of the sea level rise for the previous century, but the melting of ice sheets has started to become a primary source within the last decade.
The researchers have observed that the combined rate at which ice melts has increased up to six times in three decades, from 81 to 475 million tons per year.