New Zealand's glaciers are melting away to the point they could almost completely disappear by 2100, experts warn.
In a new study published in the journal Nature, scientists studied glaciers around the world. They say the amount of ice already lost is far more than previously thought.
- Shocking photos reveal Franz Josef Glacier's retreat
- New Zealand's glaciers ravaged by savage summer
- Massive Tasman Glacier icebergs largest seen in decades
The international team of researchers combined satellite measurements of glacier ice thickness with glaciological observations to come up with the new analysis.
"By combining these two measurement methods and having the new comprehensive dataset, we can estimate how much ice has been lost each year in all mountain regions since the 1960s," says Michael Zemp, who led the study.
"The glaciological measurements made in the field provide the annual fluctuations, while the satellite data allows us to determine overall ice loss over several years or decades."
Alpine and Polar Processes Consultancy glaciologist Dr Trevor Chinn says since 1977, New Zealand has lost 30 percent of our glaciers.
And in around 10 years, Franz Josef Glacier has lost hundreds of metres worth of ice.
And there's worrying news for the future if they all disappear. In addition to causing a massive surge in sea level rises, their loss could have a significant impact on water.
"These are the water towers for the southern part of New Zealand," says NIWA climate scientist Dr Andrew Lorrey.
"If we go into a climate in the future where our precipitation changes, that's our storage, that's our bank."