Glacier melt across the world has accelerated over the past two decades, a new study finds, with the resulting meltwater accounting for 21% of global sea level rise over the same period.
The paper, published in Nature, is the first to analyse the rate of melting from almost every glacier on the planet – around 200,000 in total, excluding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets – to show how they have lost mass and thickness between 2000 and 2019.
Glaciers are currently losing more mass than either the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets, the study finds, and annual rates of glacier thinning have “nearly doubled” from 36cm in 2000 to 69cm in 2019.
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