Oceans could rise 1.6 metres by 2100: study

Warming in the Arctic occurring at twice the global average is on track to lift sea levels by up to 1.6 metres (5.3 feet) by 2100, a far steeper jump than predicted a few years ago, a consortium of scientists reported Tuesday.

Melting ice and snow has accounted for 40 percent of recent increases in ocean levels and are likely to play an even larger role in future, according to the Oslo-based Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Project (AMAP).

"Global sea level is projected to rise 0.9 to 1.6 metres (3.0 to 5.3 feet) by 2100, and the loss from Arctic glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland Ice Sheet will make a substantial contribution to this," AMAP said in a report.

Even the low end of this range would have devastating consequences for coastal cities and densely-populated, low-lying deltas in Bangladesh, Vietnam, China and many other countries, scientists have warned.

Higher seas would literally cover some small island nations, ruin vast expanses of land used to grow food, and boost the intensity of deadly hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

Read the rest on RawStory.com.

Tags: anthropogenic climate change, arctic, fresh water, ice, oceans

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Replies to This Discussion

Global Sea Level Likely to Rise as Much as 70 Feet for Future Gener...

Even if humankind manages to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F),..., future generations will have to deal with sea levels 12 to 22 meters (40 to 70 feet) higher than at present, according to research published in the journal Geology.

...this research highlights the sensitivity of Earth's great ice sheets to temperature change, suggesting that even a modest rise in temperature results in a large sea-level rise. "The natural state of the Earth with present carbon dioxide levels is one with sea levels about 20 meters higher than at present,"...

"Such a rise of the modern oceans would swamp the world's coasts and affect as much as 70 percent of the world's population."

"The current trajectory for the 21st century global rise of sea level is 2 to 3 feet (0.8 to1 meter) due to warming of the oceans, partial melting of mountain glaciers, and partial melting of Greenland and Antarctica."... [emphasis mine]

So while it won't happen overnight, this surge in ocean depth will happen.

New research states no hope in preventing sea level rise

The predicted sea level rise that Dallas reported 18 months ago now sounds rosy.

More precise predictions of sea level changes published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the Institute of Physics journal, on October 1, 2012, are the first to predict sea levels rise due to climate change that included all potential sources of added fresh water to the world's oceans.

Even if the entire world adopted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenario that appears to be most accepted across the globe, sea levels will rise 22 feet by the year 3000.

The researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Université catholique de Louvain are the first climate scientists to admit the inevitability of sea level rise at an ever accelerating rate to due the intransigence of most countries in adopting any form of emissions containment that might make a difference and the impossibility of even the most austere emissions measure to reverse an inevitable result. [emphasis mine]

Here's the chart from that research, showing the sea level rise to which we are already committed, if we emitted zero CO2 from today on. To this baseline add on top the results of all of the current and future emissions of CO2 and manmade greenhouse gases, plus methane outgassing from melting permafrost, undersea methane deposits, fracking, swamps, dam discharges, etc to get actual future sea level rise.


Sea Level in the Year 3000: Why We Should Care

Good news about Greenland Ice Sheet melting.

When increased Summer melt occurs and the ice flows more quickly from the Greenland Ice Sheet, it flows more slowly the following Winter.

Sea level rise forecasts helped by insights into glacier melting

Predictions of sea level rise could become more accurate, thanks to new insight into how glacier movement is affected by melting ice in summer.

In summer, ice from the surface of a glacier melts and drains to the bed of the ice sheet, initially raising water pressure at the base and enabling the glacier to slide more quickly. It can, at times, move more than twice as fast in summer compared with winter, they found.

In 2012, an exceptionally warm summer caused the Greenland Ice Sheet to undergo unprecedented rates of melting. However, researchers have found that fast summer ice flow caused by significant melting is cancelled out by slower motion the following winter.

Scientists found that this is because large drainage channels, formed beneath the ice by the meltwater, helped to lower the water pressure, ultimately reducing the sliding speed.

The discovery suggests that movement in the parts of the ice sheet that terminate on land are insensitive to surface melt rates. [emphasis mine]


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