Arctic ice may be melting faster than most climate change science has concluded, the conservation group WWF said in a report published today.

It found that ice in Greenland and across the Arctic region was retreating “at rates significantly faster than predicted in previous expert assessments.”

The Greenland Ice Sheet — with an ice volume of about 2.9 million cubic kilometres — is shrinking at a fast pace and “could contribute much more than previously estimated to global sea-level rise during the 21st century,” the WWF said.

It also said Arctic warming has reduced both the area and thickness of the northern region’s multi-year sea ice, making it more prone to summer thaw. Many climate change scientists have inadequately considered the drivers of such trends, such as interactions between sea ice thickness and water temperature, according to WWF.