Glacier melt cited as main cause of rising seas

Austrian scientists say melting ice alone has raised sea levels 4.3 inches over the last century.

VIENNA — Austrian experts say melting glaciers have been the single greatest cause of rising sea level over the past century.

Scientists at the respected University of Innsbruck say that between 1902 and 2007, glaciers contributed 4.33 inches to a total sea level rise of nearly 8 inches.

They also said Wednesday that by 2100, melting glaciers could raise sea levels by another 8.66 inches.

Sea water that expands as it warms, melting ice sheets and changing water storage in dammed lakes and underwater reservoirs are also said to have contributed to rising sea levels.

The scientists say glacier melts were tracked by numerically modeling each of the world's roughly 300,000 glaciers and then performing thousands of on-site measurements to validate the model results.