A team of experts have been intensely tracking polar measurements at both ends of the earth over the past 30 years. These scientists have done this to try and track the changing characteristics of the world's glaciers, focusing on the increased rate of their ice loss and how this will affect the global population.
After a thorough review of data recorded by these satellites, it has shown that great ice sheets and glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are now melting at a rate six times faster than in the 1990s. This has been directly linked to the rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution in the early 1800s.
Scientist say that international sea levels have now raised by 17.8mm since 1992 due to the 6.4 trillion tonnes of ice lost in both Antarctica and Greenland. The accelerated speed of the glaciers melting is said to be contributing to over 30% of all sea-level rise, whereas 30 years ago this was only around 5%. Professor Andrew Shephard of the University of Leeds states that this will have a major impact on our environmental future especially in regards to coastal erosion, flooding and land loss.
Experts have now also recognised that ice losses are settling at the higher end of predictions for this period previously made by computer models used by the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In these models sea levels were shown to rise 53cm by 2100 in their mid-range predictions, however, the latest data from scientists show it is far more likely to rise to 70cm at the end of this century.
These predictions will, of course, have major implications on the governments current plans for public safety issues such as coastal flooding. The aforementioned Professor Shephard explains that if these predictions hold true it will put up to 400 million UK citizens at risk of coastal flooding, meaning that measures will need to be put into place by governments before their previous plans where set to take place.
To slow the rate of our Earths melting glaciers and in turn, global sea levels, we need to become even more conscious about how we live our lives and treat our home. One way this can be done is to rethink how we travel, opting for a green car hire company such as Green Motion offers the opportunity to offset your carbon footprint whilst you continue to adventure. You can see how we do this by clicking here.