Global ice sheets melting at 'worst-case' rates: UK scientists
A team from the universities of Edinburgh and Leeds and University College London said the rate at which ice is melting across the world's polar regions and mountains has increased markedly in the last three decades.
Using satellite data, the experts found the Earth lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice between 1994 and 2017.
The rate of loss has risen from 0.8 trillion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 1.3 trillion tonnes per year by 2017, with potentially disastrous consequences for people living in coastal areas.
"The ice sheets are now following the worst-case climate warming scenarios set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)," said Dr Thomas Slater, a research fellow at Leeds' Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.
"Sea level rise on this scale will have very serious impacts on coastal communities this century."
Input from United Nations' IPCC has been critical to forming international climate change strategies, including the 2015 Paris Agreement under which the majority of greenhouse gas emitting nations agreed to mitigate the impact of global warming.
The universities' research, published Monday in the European Geosciences Union's journal The Cryosphere, was the first of its kind to use satellite data.