Glacier melt causes large fraction of sea level rise

Thawing ice contributes nearly as much water to oceans as massive sheets at poles do

By Erin Wayman, 12:19 PM May 16, 2013

Melting glaciers around the world, discrete from the polar ice sheets, accounted for 29 percent of sea level rise from 2003 to 2009, scientists report in the May 17 Science. That’s almost as much sea level rise as the ice sheets themselves contributed during that time.

Glaciers, including those in Greenland and Antarctica that aren’t part of the ice sheets, lost 259 billion tons of ice per year, raising sea level 0.71 millimeters annually. Alex Gardner of Clark University in Worcester, Mass., ...

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