Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Report: higher sea level rise, more quickly

Arctic Warming May Raise Global Sea Levels 1.6 metres
Reuters: Quickening climate change in the Arctic including a thaw of Greenland's ice could raise world sea levels by up to 1.6 metres by 2100... Such a rise -- above most past scientific estimates -- would add to threats to coasts from Bangladesh to Florida, low-lying Pacific islands and cities from London to Shanghai...

'The past six years (until 2010) have been the warmest period ever recorded in the Arctic,' according to the Oslo-based Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), which is backed by the eight-nation Arctic Council... The rises were projected from 1990 levels... Warming in the Arctic is happening at about twice the world average...

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its last major report in 2007 that world sea levels were likely to rise between 18 and 59 cm by 2100. Those numbers did not include a possible acceleration of a thaw in polar regions.

'It is worrying that the most recent science points to much higher sea level rise than we have been expecting until now.' European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told Reuters. 'The study is yet another reminder of how pressing it has become to tackle climate change, although this urgency is not always evident, neither in the public debate nor from the pace of the international negotiations.'
Image source here.