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Melting glacier and ice sheets on land causes sea level rise. Reducing CO2 emissions can halve the amount of water. Image credit: Maria-José Viñas, NASA Earth Science News Team.

Reducing emissions may halve sea level rise from melting ice

Limit global warming to 1.5°C and halve the land ice contribution to sea level this century.


A study published in Nature today quantifies the contribution from land ice to sea level rise in the 21st century. Ice melt from the world's glaciers has been included, together with the ice sheets on Greenland and in Antarctica. 

An international group of researchers has concluded that contribution from ice melt to sea level rise can be halved this century if we meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to 1.5°C. This is compared to the emissions the world's nations have so far pledged to cut, equating to 2.8 degrees. 

"We have combined the results from glaciers and ice sheets that were carried out in separate projects", says Heiko Goelzer, researcher at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, and NORCE.

Goelzer has led the Greenland ice sheet projections used in the article.

The study was led by Tamsin Edward at King's College in London. Read the full story from King's College here


Tamsin L. Edwards, Sophie Nowicki, Ben Marzeion, Regine Hock, Heiko Goelzer, Hélene Seroussi, Nicolas C. Jourdain, Donald A. Slater, Fiona Turner, Christopher J. Smith, Christine M. McKenna, Erika Simon, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Jonathan M. Gregory, Eric Larour, William H. Lipscomb, Antony J. Payne, Andrew Shepherd et al. (2021): Projected land ice contributions to twenty-first-century sea level rise. Nature, 2021