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Fri Oct 31 11:03:03 SAST 2014

Glacier melt cited as main cause of rising seas

Sapa-AP | 14 November, 2012 16:30
The Sheldon Glacier with Mount Barre in the background, is seen from Ryder Bay near Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica, in this NASA handout photo.
Image by: NASA / Reuters

Austrian experts say melting glaciers have been the single greatest cause of rising sea level over the past century.

Scientists at the respected University of Innsbruck say that between 1902 and 2007, glaciers contributed 11 centimetres to a total sea level rise of about 20 centimetres.

They also said Wednesday that by 2100, melting glaciers could raise sea levels by another 22 centimetres.

Sea water that expands as it warms, melting ice sheets and changing water storage in dammed lakes and underwater reservoirs are also said to have contributed to rising sea levels.

The scientists say glacier melts were tracked by numerically modelling each of the world's roughly 300,000 glaciers and then performing thousands of on-site measurements to validate the model results.

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