Sea level rise to threaten 1 in 10 humans in low-lying coastal areas by 2100

March 11th, 2009 - 12:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 11 (ANI): New research has indicated that rising sea levels due to global warming would have major impacts around the world, with a maximum rise of one meter by 2100 endangering one in ten humans in low lying coastal areas.

The research, presented at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen shows that the upper range of sea level rise by 2100 could be in the range of about one meter, or possibly more.

In the lower end of the spectrum, it looks increasingly unlikely that sea level rise will be much less than 50 cm by 2100.

This means that if emissions of greenhouse gases is not reduced quickly and substantially, even the best case scenario will hit low lying coastal areas housing one in ten humans on the planet hard.

New insights reported include the loss of ice from the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets.

According to Dr John Church of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, The oceans are continuing to warm and expand, the melting of mountain glacier has increased and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are also contributing to sea level rise.

As a result of the acceleration of outlet glaciers over large regions, the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are already contributing more and faster to sea level rise than anticipated. If this trend continues, we are likely to witness sea level rise one meter or more by year 2100, said Eric Rignot, Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California Irvine.

Unless we undertake urgent and significant mitigation actions, the climate could cross a threshold during the 21st century committing the world to a sea level rise of meters, said John Church.

The impacts of sea level rise, even in the lower ranges of the current predictions, looks to be severe.

Approximately ten percent of the worlds population - 600 million people - live in low lying areas in danger of being flooded.

A previously released study led by John Church, shows that even a modest sea level rise of 50 centimeters will result in a major increase in the number of coastal flooding events.

Our study centered on Australia showed that coastal flooding events that today we expect only once every hundred years will happen several times a year by 2100, said Church. (ANI)

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