Melting Small Glaciers Could Add 10 Inches to Sea Levels

Kennicott Glacier, Wrangell Mountains, Alaska © Regina Hock

A new review of glacier research data paints a picture of a future planet with a lot less ice and a lot more water. Glaciers worldwide are projected to lose anywhere from 18% to 36% of their mass by 2100, resulting in almost 10 inches of sea level rise.

The review is the most comprehensive global comparison of glacier simulations ever compiled.

“The clear message is that there’s mass loss—substantial mass loss—all over the world,” said lead author Regine Hock, from the University Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.

The anticipated loss of ice varies by region, but the pattern is evident.

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Fritz Freudenberger © University of Alaska Fairbanks