2m sea level rise 'plausible' by 2100

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 23, 2019

The researchers estimate that, if emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide continue to grow unchecked, causing global temperatures to increase by about 5°C over pre-industrial levels, sea levels in 2100 would be 1.6 to 5.8ft higher than they are today.

Roughly 1.7 million square kilometers (656,000 square miles) in size, the Greenland ice sheet covers an area nearly three times that of Texas.

If sea levels did really rise by 6.5 feet, that could result in a loss of 691,120 square miles (1.8 million square kilometers) of land, the authors of the new report said. Al Jazeera's Science and Technology Editor Mereana Hond reports.

"In parts of Antarctica, the ice sheet has thinned by extraordinary amounts, and so we set out to show how much was due to changes in climate and how much was due to weather", stated Andy Shepherd, a polar scientist at the University of Leeds and the lead author of the study. Another key one is the idea that ice cliffs in Antarctica could collapse under their own weight after buttressing ice sheets supporting them are melted by climate change. The glaciers are melting five times faster than in the early 1990-ies. Another awful prediction which came out of this study is that in the worst-case scenario, 691,120 square miles would be lost to the sea.

The floods are about 187 million people will be forced to leave their usual habitat. "That is about 200 times smaller than the number of people who would be displaced in a 2m sea-level rise". It would also pose an "existential threat" to small island nations in the Pacific which would be left pretty much uninhabitable.

The predictions in this new study are more than double the UN's 2013 estimate. Under water hidden of 1.79 million square kilometers of land, including the whole areas of London, Los Angeles, NY and Rio de Janeiro.

"Our study suggests that there is a real risk, a plausible risk of very substantial sea level rise coming from both ice sheets", Bamber said, adding that humanity doesn't have many opportunities to avoid the worst consequences that come with the rapid rise of global sea levels.

"To put this into perspective, the Syrian refugee crisis resulted in about a million refugees coming into Europe", lead author of the new study Jonathan Bamber told the BBC.

The United Nations climate panel's last major report in 2013 predicted that sea levels would rise between 52 and 98 cm (20.4 inches and 38.5 inches) by 2100 at the current trajectory.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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