Global sea levels could rise far more than predicted

22 May, 2019, 03:35 | Author: Darnell Taylor

The team of worldwide scientists used a technique called structured expert judgment to ask 22 ice sheet experts to estimate plausible ranges for future sea level rises.

Ocean levels are rising due to climate change and the long-held view is that sea levels would rise almost three feet by the year 2100.

Prof Bamber added: "Such a rise in global sea level could result in land loss of 1.79 million km2, including critical regions of food production, and potential displacement of up to 187 million people".

The worldwide researchers predict that in the worst case scenario under which global temperatures increase by 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, sea levels could rise by more than two meters (6.6 feet) in the same period - double the upper limit outlined by the United Nations climate science panel's last major report. Watch our interview with Bamber in the player above. Images from Climate Central allow us to see the potential damage to coastlines worldwide.

The study, which was released Monday, says sea levels may rise much faster than previously estimated due to the accelerating melting of ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica. The study authors analysed several different scenarios. A rise in temperatures by 5 degrees Celsius would cause significant declines in ice levels in Greenland, as well as Antarctica.

There's a 5 percent chance the worst-case scenario described in the report will happen, but it shouldn't be discounted, according to its authors.

The findings suggest that coastal communities should not rule out the possibility of 21st century subsequent sea level rise in excess of two metres when developing adaptation strategies.

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The expansion of water as oceans warm also contributes to sea level rise.

Global sea levels could rise in excess of two metres - causing catastrophic consequences for the world, according to a team of worldwide scientists.

But with information about rising sea levels, countries can better prepare for it.

Willy Aspinall, from the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences, said he hoped the study could provide policymakers with a more accurate worst-case scenario "crucial for robust decision making".

"The Netherlands is already below sea level for a large part, but our Dikes and Pumping stations make sure our land does not flood", Jeroen Aerts, director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam told Euronews. "An SLR of this magnitude would clearly have profound consequences for humanity".

To get a better understanding, an global group of researchers compiled a "structured expert judgement study", using expert understanding of what is happening to glaciers to predict a broader range of possibilities than those considered in the IPCC report.


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