The threat of rising sea levels caused by melting ice is well recognised, but scientists are now revising their thinking on just how global warming will manifest itself. Previously, melting ice sheets were seen as the major contributor to potential sea level rises; however, scientists in the online journal Science, have just published research suggesting that melting glaciers will pose a far greater threat this century.
The amount of water frozen in glaciers is only equivalent to 1% of that in the great ice sheets; however, ice melt from glaciers will probably account for at least 60% of sea level rise over the next one hundred years. They alone will cause a rise of around 10 inches.
Glaciers are already melting at an alarming rate. The Rhone Glacier in Valais, Switzerland has receded 2.5km in a century, whilst the Ururashraju Glacier in the Peruvian Andes is now half a kilometre smaller than it was in 1992. A recent study also revealed that Alaskan glaciers are melting at twice the rate previously thought.