Research Press Release

Melting ice sheets driving rapid Antarctic sea level rise

Nature Geoscience

September 1, 2014

The release of fresh water from melting Antarctic glaciers and ice sheets is fuelling rapid sea-level rise along the Antarctic coast, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

Craig Rye and colleagues used satellite measurements of sea surface height and an ocean circulation model to estimate sea-level rise along the Antarctic coast between 1992 and 2011. They find that sea level along the Antarctic coast rose about 2 millimetres per year more than the whole of the Southern Ocean, which extends from the Antarctic coast to 40 degrees south. They attribute the enhanced regional sea-level rise to the warming and freshening of surface and deep waters near the coast, caused by increased freshwater discharge from melting glaciers and ice sheets on Antarctica.


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