Sea Level Could Rise More Than Three Feet This Century

Experts are predicting that this century alone, sea levels are going to rise a significant amount. By the year 2100, scientists are estimating that there will be an increase of 70 to 120 centimeters if the world does not do something about greenhouse gasses. This is obviously nothing new, the general idea that researchers think that sea levels will rise if greenhouse gas emissions are not eliminated, but what is new is just how much they are expecting the levels to rise. There has been much published on the subject and a consensus has been reached by 90 experts that were surveyed about the topic, those who had read and followed the research on the issue.

sea levelThere was even more educated speculation about the issue, with projections going all the way to the year 2300, and predictions of about 200 to 300 centimeters of an increase by that time. Experts also worked out a scenario with major emission reductions, and that study showed that the increase would only be 40 to 60 centimeters instead of 70 to 120, an almost 50% reduction, and by 2300, the risk with reduced emissions was only estimated at 60 to 100 centimeters which is a far greater decrease. “While the results for the scenario with climate mitigation suggest a good chance of limiting future sea-level rise to one meter, the high emissions scenario would threaten the survival of some coastal cities and low-lying islands,”said Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research scientist Stefan Rahmstorf.

These may not be accurate figures however, because the rise in sea level has many uncertain factors. The processes that cause the sea level increase are complicated and include ocean water expansion as warming occurs, and the melting of the glaciers and ice caps. Also, ground water being pumped in from irrigation plays a factor. The sea level rises that were predicted by researchers may not happen in the amounts indicated. The sea level rise may be more, or less, depending upon these factors.


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