Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is huge sea level rise likely to happen?

Most climate change predictions have concluded that sea levels will globally rise around 1 meter by the end of this century. Such sea level rise is already huge, but a major review of climate change in Antarctica conducted by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)come up with even bigger numbers, namely that sea levels could rise 1,4m by the end of this century.

Temperatures of the air, as well as the temperatures of the oceans are constantly increasing, and as a result warmer water is getting under the edges of the West Antarctic ice sheet and accelerating the flow of ice into the ocean, rising sea levels. And as the temperatures increase even further sea levels rise will be bigger and bigger.

Melting of the polar glaciers will be most responsible for sea levels rise, and the rest of sea level rise will result from melting of the Greenland cap, melting of mountain glaciers in the Himalayas and Andes, and the expansion of seawater as it warms.

Antarctica, world's largest ice kingdom is melting really fast and in the last 50 years the Antarctic Peninsula experienced temperature increase of about 3C, which is the fastest temperature rise seen anywhere in the southern hemisphere. Condition at Arctic is even worse, and temperatures at Arctic are experiencing even bigger growth than at Antarctic. For instance, in autumn of 2008 temperatures at Arctic were approximately 9 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, and were the highest ever measured.

The situation really looks to be critical, and new climate deal is our last chance that can perhaps slow down sea level rise. Such huge sea level rise would flood many coastal areas, it would make hurricanes more frequent and much more powerful, and world could be soon looking into one big global catastrophe if world leaders fail to act immediately.

Scar's report about this huge sea level rise was written using contributions from 100 leading scientists in various disciplines, and reviewed by a further 200.

No comments:

Post a Comment