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Tech & Science2-metre sea level rise 'plausible' by 2100: study

06:05  22 may  2019
06:05  22 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Global sea levels could rise by two metres (6.5 feet) and displace tens of millions of people by the end of the century While there was still a significant margin of error, they found it " plausible " that under the business-as-usual emissions scenario, sea - level rises could exceed two metres by 2100 .

Global sea levels could rise by two metres (6.5 feet) and displace tens of millions of people by the end of the century While there was still a significant margin of error, they found it " plausible " that under the business-as-usual emissions scenario, sea - level rises could exceed two metres by 2100 .

2-metre sea level rise 'plausible' by 2100: study © MARIO TAMA The vast ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contain enough frozen water to lift the world's oceans dozens of metres

Global sea levels could rise by two metres (6.5 feet) and displace tens of millions of people by the end of the century, according to new projections that double the UN's benchmark estimates.

The vast ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contain enough frozen water to lift the world's oceans dozens of metres. The expansion of water as oceans warm also contributes to sea level rise.

But predicting the rates at which they will melt as the planet heats is notoriously tricky.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said its 2013 Fifth Assessment Report that under current emissions trajectories -- a "business-as-usual" scenario known as RCP8.5 -- would likely rise by up to one metre by 2100.

Dog is rescued after it's found swimming 135 MILES out at sea: Oil rig workers pluck pooch from Gulf of Thailand - and have no idea how it got there

Dog is rescued after it's found swimming 135 MILES out at sea: Oil rig workers pluck pooch from Gulf of Thailand - and have no idea how it got there The female brown Aspin was found drifting in the Gulf of Thailand on Friday. It is unknown whether the dog swam the astonishing distance from the shore, or jumped off a boat at sea.

Since at least the start of the 20th century, the average global sea level has been rising . Between 1900 and 2016, the sea level rose by 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in).

Global sea levels could rise by two meters (6.5 feet) and displace tens of millions of people by the end of the century While there was still a significant margin of error, they found it " plausible " that under the business-as-usual emissions scenario, sea - level rises could exceed two meters by 2100 .

Related Slideshow: Places that may vanish from the face of the Earth (Provided by Photo Services)

That prediction has since been viewed as conservative, as the levels of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise year on year, and satellites showing accelerated rates of melt-off from massive ice sheets atop Antarctica and Greenland.

A group of the world's leading ice scientists this week released an expert judgement on the situation, drawing on their own experience and observations.

While there was still a significant margin of error, they found it "plausible" that under the business-as-usual emissions scenario, sea-level rises could exceed two metres by 2100.

The authors said the area of land lost to the ocean could be equivalent to that of France, Germany, Spain and Britain combined and would displace more than 180 million people.

"A sea-level rise of this magnitude would clearly have profound consequences for humanity," they said.

'The true risks'

The Paris climate deal, struck between nations in 2015, aims to limit global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Farenheit), and encourages countries to work towards a 1.5C cap.

In October the IPCC released a landmark climate report that called for a drastic and immediate drawdown in coal, oil and gas consumption in order to arrest the rapid rise in the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

That report, however, did not include revised estimates of sea level rise.

Earth has already heated 1C since pre-industrial times, contributing roughly 3mm to sea levels each year.

The authors of the new study, released Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, argue that the IPCC's sea-level rise prediction was too constrained by focusing on what was "likely" to happen.

At wider probabilities -- 5-95 percent likelihood -- they found that under 2C of warming seas could rise 36-126 cm by 2100.

In world that has warmed by 5C -- unlikely but certainly not impossible given projected fossil fuel demand in the coming decades -- they calculated a five percent risk of sea levels surpassing two metres higher, topping out at 238 cm.

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."

"Limiting attention to the 'likely' range, as was the case in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, may be misleading and will likely lead to a poor evaluation of the true risks," he added.

If Thwaites Glacier collapses, global coastlines could change forever.
Scientists fear its collapse could one day destabilize surrounding glaciers and eventually trigger up to 11 feet of global sea level rise. This winter’s expedition aboard the Palmer marked the first field season of a five-year, international research collaboration to discover just how much, and how fast, Thwaites Glacier might add to rising seas. The massive blowout of icebergs won’t itself change sea levels, as the ice that fractured off deep into the ice shelf had already been floating. But it is a sign of the glacier’s instability. “It's another step in the [progressive] retreat,” Larter said.

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