The Beacon

New Estimates on Rising Seas

As global warming is rapidly melting glaciers and causing sea water to thermally expand, scientists are working hard to make realistic predictions on the extent of sea level rise that could occur by the end of the 21st century.

In a 2007 report, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), predicted a rise of 0.6-2 ft by 2100 and now researchers are estimating an even greater increase. A new report published in Science provides a new estimate of sea level rise: As much as 2.6-6.6 ft (0.8-2 m) by 2100, based on the rate of possible future glacier melt.

A sea level rise of 6.6 ft would have drastic consequences for the environment, wildlife, and millions of people across the globe, especially those dwelling in low-lying or coastal areas. Almost all of Bangladesh would be flooded, along with serious destruction expected for coastal cities such as New Orleans and Amsterdam.

With today’s unmitigated and rapid pace of global warming, such calamitous inundations are likely inevitable by the end of this century, but with the implementation of more effective climate change policies, such destruction can be avoided.

Learn more at http://oceana.org/climate.

[Image of Greenland: Greg Von Doersten via nationalgeographic.com]


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