Arctic Melting Faster Than Expected

Report adds 2 to 3 feet to global sea level prediction
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 11:53 AM CDT
In this July 19, 2007 file photo, an iceberg is seen melting off the coast of Ammasalik, Greenland.   (AP Photo/John McConnico, File)

(Newser) – Global sea levels are likely to raise two or three feet more than previously predicted this century, because the Arctic is melting significantly faster than expected, scientists conclude in a new report being presented to international officials today. The report, which examined the past six years' worth of data, predicts a 35- to 63-inch rise over 1990 levels by 2100. That's a drastic departure from a 2007 climate change report by the UN that predicted a 7- to 23-inch rise in sea levels, MSNBC reports.

If this new estimate is correct, then places like Florida, London, Shanghai, and Bangladesh could all be in more danger than thought. “The past six years have been the warmest period ever recorded in the Arctic,” the report says, noting that "the increase in annual average temperature since 1980 has been twice as high over the Arctic as it has been over the rest of the world." Click for more issues in the Arctic.

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