"Melting Ice Sheets Already Seen Driving Sea-Level Rise"

"As a satellite study released today by Nature shows, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have already begun contributing more to the planet's rising seas than the melting of ice caps and glaciers. It is a trend that overthrows conventional understanding of how melting is partitioned, while reaffirming that sea levels are rising as expected."

"For some time, it's been thought in climate science that the glaciers and ice caps crowning mountain ranges from the Andes to the Himalayas are the canaries of the cryosphere. Seen making dramatic retreats in the face of human-caused global warming, melting glaciers have been flagged as the most likely frozen source for the planet's rising seas.

Ultimately, melting of the massive ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland would become more influential than glaciers in pushing up sea levels, of course. But that was some time away.

Or not.

As a satellite study released today by Nature shows, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have already begun contributing more to the planet's rising seas than the melting of ice caps and glaciers. It is a trend that overthrows conventional understanding of how melting is partitioned, while reaffirming that sea levels are rising as expected."

Paul Voosen reports for Greenwire February 8, 2012.

SEE ALSO:

"From 2 Satellites, the Big Picture on Ice Melt" (Green/NYT)

"Scientists Melt Mystery Over Icecaps And Sea Levels" (Reuters)

Source: Greenwire, 02/09/2012