A study that was recently published in the journal Science found that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are disappearing three times faster than they were two decades, making it the latest evidence that supports the existence of global warming.
The study is considered to be an accurate portrayal of ice melts in these polar regions, and according to the paper's authors, the rapid polar ice melting has caused an increase in sea level that could become quite problematic for low coastal regions.
The most alarming data discovered by the researchers was in Greenland, where they found that the ice was melting five times the rate it was in the mid-1990s. Melt from Greenland accounted for two-thirds of polar ice melt. Due to a slower melt rate, just one-third of the world's melted ice came from Antarctica, even though it is larger in size than Greenland.
The study compiled results taken from 50 separate ice melt studies around the world, and is the first of its kind. The data included was collected by 47 experts over the course of two decades.
The project was led by Erik Ivins of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Andrew Shepherd, a professor at the University of Leeds.
Shepherd estimates that the data compiled by his study is two to three times more reliable than previous studies on melting ice and rising sea levels.
The scientific community has welcomed the study's results, stating that it will lay groundwork for better predictive models that could help policy-makers in their decision making. The study is also likely to reinforce concerns that cities in low-lying areas are not taking adequate precautions to avoid rising sea levels.