Vast ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting faster than previously estimated, according to a new report. This melting is three times larger than for mountain glaciers and ice caps and, alarmingly, it's accelerating. The extra water dumped into the oceans would push average global sea level six inches higher by 2050.
These figures are even worse than those offered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, the last time an international body published a comprehensive assessment of ice sheets.
If nothing else, the findings are a warning for anyone living in coastal areas. A recent study has found that rising seas threaten 180 US cities including Miami and New Orleans. Sydney will suffer major floods every year instead of every 100, according to new estimates.
People around the world will lose their homes and scientists predict we will have 50 million "environmental refugees" by 2020. That's in nine years time.