Global sea levels are feared to be rising higher and faster than previously estimated due to rapidly melting Artic ice sheets, according to a leak of new report obtained by a Danish newspaper Monday.
Sea levels were estimated to rise between 0.9 and 1.6 metres by the year 2100 according to the findings by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), cited by Danish daily Politiken, DPA reported.
The report, due to be published Tuesday, suggested an almost three-fold higher rise in sea levels compared with a 2007 assessment by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The UN climate panel estimated sea levels would rise between 19 and 59 centimetres but did not take into account the acceleration of melting ice sheets in the Arctic and on Greenland.
Higher sea levels would have dramatic effects on populations in low-lying areas. At present 150 million people live in areas just one metre above the sea level, the AMAP report said.
"This study is yet another reminder of the need to tackle climate change," European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.