Melting Antarctic ice sheet raising sea-level faster
Fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea-level around the coast of Antarctica to rise by 2 cm more than the global average of 6 cm.
The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and the thinning of floating ice shelves has contributed to an excess of around 350 giga-tonnes of freshwater to the surrounding ocean, the findings showed.
"Fresh water is less dense than salt water and so in regions where an excess of fresh water has accumulated we expect a localised rise in sea level," said lead study author Craig Rye from the University of Southampton in Britain.
The researchers detected the rapid rise in sea-level by studying satellite scans of a region that spans more than a million square kilometres.
In addition to satellite observations, the researchers also conducted computer simulations of the effect of melting glaciers on the Antarctic Ocean.
The results of the simulation closely mirrored the real world picture presented by the satellite data.
The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
(Posted on 01-09-2014)