Polar Ice Sheets Shrinking Worldwide, Study Confirms
Rapid loss already contributing to sea level rise.
And the effects, according to an international team, are equally clear—sea levels are rising faster than predicted, which could bring about disastrous effects for people and wildlife.
Rising seas would increase the risk of catastrophic flooding like that caused by Hurricane Sandy last month in New York and New Jersey. Environmental damage may include widespread erosion, contamination of aquifers and crops, and harm to marine life. And in the long term, rising seas may force hundreds of millions of people who live along the coast to abandon their homes.
By reconciling nearly two decades of often conflicting satellite data into one format—in other words, comparing apples to apples—the new study, published in the journal Science, made a more confident estimate of