Daily Updates

July 16, 2013

Sea levels may increase more than 6 feet for each degree of global warming

LONDON —

Sea levels may rise by more than 2 meters (6.6 feet) for each degree Celsius of global warming the planet experiences over the next 2,000 years, according to a study by researchers in five nations.
The research, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, attempts to iron out the impact of short-term fluctuations in sea levels, examining changes over a longer term for which forecasts are more certain.
The findings signal that melting of ice in the Antarctic will take over from thermal expansion, where warmer water occupies more space, as the main cause of rising seas. In the worst-case scenario examined, a temperature gain of 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) would result in seas rising by about 9 meters since industrialization began in the 18th century.
"Continuous sea-level rise is something we cannot avoid unless global temperatures go down," Anders Levermann, the lead author of the study, said by email from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, where he is based. "We need to adapt. Sea-level rise might be slow on time scales on which we elect governments, but it is inevitable and therefore highly relevant for almost everything we build along our coastlines, for many generations to come."
Temperatures already have climbed about 0.8 degree and seas have risen about 17 centimeters since the industrial revolution, according to the United Nations. When temperature gains reach 1 degree, the world will be committed to sea levels about 2.3 meters higher over two millennia, according to the study in the journal of the Washington-based National Academy of Sciences.
 About 1.6 meters of that will come from ice melting in Antarctica, 40 centimeters from the natural expansion of the sea as it gets warmer, 20 centimeters from mountain glaciers and 10 centimeters from Greenland, it said.
In the 4-degree scenario, Antarctica would add 4.8 meters to sea levels over 2,000 years, thermal expansion would contribute 1.7 meters and mountain glaciers and small ice caps would add 45 centimeters.
Greenland would contribute 2.1 meters, though it would be destabilized to the point that a further 4.9 meters is possible if all the ice there melted over the next few thousand years.
Researchers from Germany, the United States, Canada, Spain and Austria also contributed to the study. They used computer models and analysis of past trends in sea levels derived from sediments and raised ancient shorelines to make their predictions.
 
 
 
 

1
Text Only
Daily Updates
  • Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, Fla., but why?

    The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London — and now, Tampa?

    April 23, 2014

  • Indictment: Prosecutor targeted in kidnapping plot

    A North Carolina prosecutor was the intended target of an elaborate kidnapping plot, but the kidnappers looked up the wrong address on the Internet and abducted the prosecutor’s father instead, according to an indictment released Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage

    As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger voters by de-emphasizing social issues.

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying

    Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Wednesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • In Other News, April 22

    April 22, 2014

  • A bipolar doctor probes the brain on 'Black Box’

    ABC’s brainy new medical drama “Black Box” does a neat trick: It dares viewers to imagine for themselves the cost-benefit ratio of addiction, and does it without taking a firm stand.

    April 22, 2014

  • Courthouse violence unpredictable despite security

    When Utah’s new federal courthouse opened last week, it came with security improvements that are becoming standard around the country: separate entrances and elevators for judges, defendants and the public; bullet-resistant glass and paneling; and vehicle barricades to keep car bombs at bay.

    April 22, 2014

  • Lucey is tops in Iowa’s ‘Beautiful Bulldog’ event

    Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch whose human family dreams of making her a therapy dog.

    April 22, 2014

  • Cuban-American leaders helped ’Cuban Twitter’

    Leaders with the largest nonprofit organization for young Cuban-Americans quietly provided strategic support for the federal government’s secret “Cuban Twitter” program, connecting contractors with potential investors and even serving as paid consultants, The Associated Press has learned.

    April 22, 2014