Sea levels are rising even faster than scientists predicted, according to a global analysis of data from tide gauges and satellites.
The researchers say the study puts to bed claims that climate scientists have exaggerated the consequences of global warming. And because the study shows that sea level is responding even faster than expected, the work suggests governments have even less time to act in order to combat climate change.
The report was published in the journal Science ahead of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report, published today, which brings together the last three years of research on global warming. The heavily trailed tome will say that it is "highly unlikely (less than 5%)" that observed warming and ice loss are due to natural factors.
"The main message is addressed to people who have claimed in the past that the IPCC exaggerates climate change," said David Parker at the Hadley Centre for Climate Change Research in Exeter who was part of the sea level research team.
"What we're saying is that the real climate system is changing as fast or even faster than expected by past IPCCs."