Space & Innovation

Greenland Melting Prompts NASA Fears of Coastal Flooding

The increasing speed of melting glaciers in Greenland is leading to rising sea levels that threaten coastal communities from Florida to Thailand.

AUGUST 26, 2015 4:40 PM ET // BY ERIC NIILER

NASA scientists say they are worried about the increasing speed of melting glaciers in Greenland, melting that is leading to higher sea levels that threaten coastal communities from Florida to Thailand.

PHOTOS: US Cities Under 12 Feet of Sea-Level Rise

Researchers have been studying the expansion of the ocean's height for the past few decades. It's the result of thermal expansion (heat from warming atmosphere), melting ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, and melting from glaciers in other parts of the world, such as Alaska or the Himalayas.

The new wild card is rapid changes above and below Greenland ice sheets, according to Eric Rignot, glaciologist at the University of California, Irvine and NASA's Jet Propulsion Labratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.

PHOTOS: Global Warming Right Before Your Eyes

Here Are 10 Striking Images of Future Sea Levels

PHOTOS: Antarctica: A Travelers Guide

PHOTOS: Earth's Blue Marble Beauty

10 Signs Climate Change Is Already Happening