UTRECHT, Netherlands, March 7 (UPI) -- Glaciers in the Canadian arctic will undergo a dramatic retreat this century if warming projections hold true and cause a rise in sea levels, scientists say.
Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands said a study suggests melting of the region's ice fields could see them lose as much as a fifth of their volume, which could raise sea levels around the globe by more than an inch and a third.
Only the ice of Greenland and Antarctica is predicted raise levels more with global warming, they said.
The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a vast area of around 56,000 square miles containing some 36,000 islands.
"This is a very important part of the world where there has already been a lot of change," Utrecht researcher Jan Lenaerts told BBC News.
"And it is all the more important that we talk about it because it has been somewhat overshadowed by all the news of Greenland and Antarctica," he said.
Gravity measurements made by satellites suggest the ice loss in the region since 2003 has been around 70 billion tons annually, a figure that it increasing, the researchers said.