Antarctic Coastal Waters ‘Rising Faster’
Melting ice is fuelling sea-level rise around the coast of Antarctica, a new report in Nature Geoscience finds.
Near-shore waters went up by about 2mm per year more than the general trend for the Southern Ocean as a whole in the period between 1992 and 2011.
Scientists say the melting of glaciers and the thinning of ice shelves are dumping 350 billion tonnes of additional water into the sea annually.
This influx is warming and freshening the ocean, pushing up its surface.
“Freshwater is less dense than salt water and so in regions where an excess of freshwater has accumulated we expect a localised rise in sea level,” explained Dr Craig Rye from the University of Southampton, UK, and lead author on the new journal paper.