The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting significantly faster than previously estimated, according to a new international report led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Unless the trend is reversed, the melting ice sheets will push global sea levels up six inches by 2050, the scientists found.
“It’s going to be a concern for people in coastal areas,” one of the co-authors tells the Washington Post, adding that the water wouldn’t be evenly distributed. The report used both radar satellite readings of the ice and soundings and ground-based observations in reaching its conclusions. “What impresses me is the fact that the independent data sets really match very well,” says one ice researcher not involved with the study. “This is a major point and a major achievement.”