NASA scientists are now warning that recent projections seem too conservative: Since 1992, sea levels have increased by an average of 3 inches around the world.
Three years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that by 2100 sea levels could rise 28 to 98 centimeters (11 to 38 inches), depending on the volumes of greenhouse gases emitted.
“We’ve never seen anything on that scale before,” says Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “I was in awe.”
“The IPCC projections produce conservative scenarios of ice-sheet decay, because those models do not yet include the fast melt [of ice] into the ocean that would prevail during times of rapid or catastrophic ice sheet retreat,”