The rise in sea levels this century due to glaciers and ice caps melting away under higher global temperatures could be almost three times what scientists have previously estimated, according to new data. The new information predicts that ocean levels will increase by between 6.7 and 10.6 inches by 2100 from glacial melt alone. The previous estimate, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, predicted a rise of roughly 2 to 4 inches due to glacial melt. (The IPCC predicts an overall sea level rise of 4.3 to 34.6 inches this century. That prediction takes into account other factors such as increasing water temperatures, which swell the seas.) One member of the research team, Mark Meier of the University of Colorado at Boulder, said the current rates of melting for some glaciers were “unprecedented” and outstripped rates from the last 5,000 years.

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