A new study has found that glaciers are melting at a faster pace.

In a new study published in Nature, it has come to light that meltwater produced from glaciers now accounts for about a fifth of global sea-level rise.

Robert McNabb, from the universities of Ulster and Oslo, said on Science In Action on the BBC World Service: “Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen that glaciers have lost about 267 gigatonnes (Gt) per year. So, if we take that amount of water and we divide it up across the island of Ireland, that’s enough to cover all of Ireland in 3m of water each year. And the total loss is accelerating. It’s growing by about 48Gt/yr, per decade.”

Co-author Matthias Huss from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology added: “This new study is a major advance as we get a high spatial resolution and, at the same time, it also provides the temporal change over the two decades directly based on satellite data, which is novel.”

“This data-set has been validated with an immense amount of additional, independent measurements and is highly accurate so that the uncertainties of previous studies are strongly reduced.”

The team found throughout the study that 270 billion tonnes of ice have been lost a year from the global icestreams.