Sea levels will rise much faster than predicted

December 17th, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 17 (ANI): A new study has found that sea levels will rise much faster than previously predicted, as the worlds glaciers and ice sheets are melting at an alarming rate.

According to a report in The Times, the study, commissioned by the US Climate Change Science Program, said that the rises will substantially exceed forecasts that do not take into account the latest data and observations.

The adjusted outlook suggests that recent predictions of a rise of between 7 inches and 2 feet over the next century are conservative.

The study predicts that sea level rises will be far higher than the levels that were set out last year by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change.

The research looked at prehistoric periods when the climate changed dramatically over the course of decades, and evaluated the mechanisms behind such rapid transformation.

Rising sea levels were one of the major elements involved in past episodes, along with faster glacial melting, droughts and changes to the Atlantic Oceans heat-driven circulation.

According to the studys authors, they are among the greatest natural hazards facing the United States and the globe today and call for committed and sustained monitoring of the forces that could trigger abrupt climate change.

If we dont monitor the vital signs of the patient, then well never be in a position to advise on the best course of action to take to ward off or prepare for the potentially devastating consequences, said Peter Clark, a professor of geosciences at Oregon State University and a lead author on the report.

But, the report concludes that some changes will not be as bad as first thought.

For example, rapid releases of methane stored in permafrost and on the seabed may be less likely than feared.

Other forecasts include a severe and permanent drought in the American West. (ANI)

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