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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