Glacier and ice sheet melt has accounted for 50% of sea level rises.
That’s according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), which claims that Earth’s cryosphere, which includes icebergs and glaciers, is negatively impacting coastal areas and island states.
Climate change has seen the thickness of the world’s glaciers drop by 30 metres in the last 50 years, with the WMO warning that more than one billion people will be hit hard by this change.
Scientists also revealed that melting Arctic permafrost contains double the carbon that’s currently in the atmosphere, so the more it disappears, the higher emissions become.
Even within the last year, the average thickness of monitored glaciers has fallen by up to 1.3 metres, the organisation has said.
Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said: “The cryosphere issue is a hot topic not just for the Arctic and Antarctic but it is a global issue.”
It is calling for more focus and investment on the impacts of the shrinking cryosphere and the best ways to mitigate these for developing nations.