Thursday, June 18, 2009

How fast are sea levels rising?

Are sea levels really rising as fast as many environmentalists say they are, and will sea levels really gonna rise one meter by the end of this century? In 2007 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change already predicted serious sea levels rise somewhere between 7 to 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) but many latest studies showed how IPCC's predictions were wrong, and that the impact of climate change has really been underestimated in IPCC report. The latest example that supports this is Brussels study that involved scientists from 10 universities.

According to this new study global sea levels are very likely to rise one meter by the end of this century. This latest study included one big factor that was neglected in IPCC's study two years ago, namely the fact that Greenland’s ice sheet is losing gigantic 179 billion tons of ice per year. Results of this study also showed that Oceans are warming 50 percent faster than the IPCC predicted mostly because Arctic sea ice is disappearing much faster during the summer than it used to.

Having all these on mind scientists are constantly warning governments that drastic cuts are needed to avoid the worst that climate change has to offer. World is simply releasing too much greenhouse gases into the atmosphere due to heavy fossil fuels combustion. Reports say how in 2008, global CO2 emissions have increased 1,8 percent compared to 2007, and how in 2008 world has released 31.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In December this year world governments will try to agree on new climate deal to stop further growing of climate change impact. Though the world would really need major cuts in CO2 emissions I really don't see this happening, well at least not in form of short-term targets. Industry was hit really hard with recession, and has still not fully recovered so I doubt that rich countries will decide to go for major CO2 cuts because that could weaken already falling economies even further. Though world is becoming a "bit greener" than it used to be it is still not green enough to sacrifice the holy cow of modern civilization, namely the industry. And since industry is still very much based on fossil fuels with renewable energy sector at least couple of decades away I really don't see how will world make drastic CO2 cuts. And without drastic CO2 cuts climate change impact will become stronger and stronger.

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