Earth's sea levels should be nine meters taller than they are – and the dramatic melting in Antarctica can soon remove this gap, scientists warn.
They say that global temperatures are the same today as 115,000 years ago when modern humans are just starting to leave Africa.
Research shows that during this time period, known as Eemian, the burning ocean temperatures caused catastrophic global ice melting. As a result, the sea levels were six to nine meters higher than today.
But if the ocean's current temperatures are the same as they were at the time of the Earth, it means that our planet "disappears" a devastating sea rise.
If the oceans were to rise by only 1.8 meters, the big coastal towns would be underwater, turning the streets into canals and completely immersing some buildings.
Scientists believe that the sea levels have made this leap 115,000 years ago due to the sudden collapse of the ice in Antarctica.
Vulnerable ice on the continent's western Antarctic continent, which is now withdrawing today, has released a very rapid rise in sea level.
"There is no way to rise tens of meters at sea level without getting tens of meters from rising sea levels from Antarctica," said Rob DeConto, an Antarctic expert at the University of Massachusetts in the United States.
His team creates the most up-to-date computer models that show how Antarctic ice has responded to warm ocean temperatures during Ehem.
They showed two processes, called the collapse of the sea ice rock and instability of the sea ice roofs, rapidly melting the ice sheet of the West Antarctica.
They revealed thick glaciers that formed part of the ice cover to the ocean, which meant that the ice blocks were rising to the sea faster. Here they quickly melted, adding thousands of tons of water to the world's oceans.
Scientists warn that if the ice shelves in Antarctica undergo similar processes, this could lead to a catastrophe for the Earth. In combination with the melting in Greenland, we can see that the sea level rises by almost two meters in this century.
Over the next century, ice loss will worsen even more.
"What we have said is whether the type of calving that we see in Greenland today will begin to engage in analogous conditions in Antarctica – Antarctica has thicker ice, that's a bigger ice sheet – the consequences will be potentially truly monumental sea level upgrading, "said Dr. DeConto.
Last month, NASA warned that the Antarctic glacier could collapse for decades and "sink cities" after discovering the 300-meter cavity on the day that lies beneath the ice blocks.
If you feel afraid, check out the sea-level simulator at sea level if you want to know if your home will be destroyed by rising oceans.