Ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland has accelerated over the last 20 years, research shows, and will soon become the biggest driver of sea level rise.
From satellite data and climate models, scientists calculate that the two polar ice sheets are losing enough ice to raise sea levels by 1.3mm each year.
Overall, sea levels are rising by about 3mm (0.12 inches) per year.
Writing in Geophysical Research Letters, the team says ice loss here is speeding up faster than models predict.
“That ice sheets will dominate future sea level rise is not surprising – they hold a lot more ice mass than mountain glaciers,” said lead author Eric Rignot from Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
Europe’s Evisat satellite shows sea level lower now than when it started making measurements in 2003. A few days ago NASA released a report that sea level was falling.
h/t to martin