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New Report Predicts Big Rise in Sea Level Associated With Global Warming

October 16, 2015
Environmental Protection

A new report by scientists at Victoria University’s Antarctic Research Centre has predicted that sea levels could rise by as much as 10 meters if the 2°C target for global temperature rise is not met. Researchers used state of the art computer technology to run models based on a number of different emission scenarios.

The findings showed that in all but one case, which saw a significant reduction in emissions by 2020, global warming would create the loss of large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet. Antarctica is home to 90% of the world’s ice meaning any significant loss could produce unprecedented sea level rises. Currently, 10% of the world’s population lives within 10 metres of present sea level.

Dr Nicholas Golledge, who worked on the study believes damage inflicted now would prove irreversible in the future. “The long reaction time of the Antarctic ice-sheet – which can take thousands of years to fully manifest its response to changes in environmental conditions – coupled with the fact that CO₂ lingers in the atmosphere for a very long time means that the warming we generate now will affect the ice-sheet in ways that will be incredibly hard to undo,” he said. “It becomes an issue of whether we choose to mitigate now for the benefit of future generations or adapt to a world in which shorelines are significantly re-drawn.”