Sea Level nearly doubles

Sea Level Rising nearly doubles

Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a meter of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than15 meters by 2500

By the end of this century, the sea level nearly doubles: The sea would rise twice as high as predicted so far.

This is what researchers Robert DeConto and David Pollard reported in Nature.

Nearly doubles

From a message in The Washington Post about the research
‘(…) The startling findings paint a far grimmer picture than current consensus predictions, which have suggested that seas could rise by just under a meter at most by the year 2100. Those estimates relied on the notion that expanding ocean waters and the melting of relatively small glaciers would fuel the majority of sea level rise, rather than the massive ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

The projection “nearly doubles” prior estimates of sea level rise, which had relied on a “minimal contribution from Antarctica,” said Rob DeConto of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who authored the study with  David Pollard of Penn State University. (…)’

From Nature

‘(…) Robert DeConto and David Pollard use a newly improved numerical ice-sheet model calibrated to Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates to develop projections of Antarctica’s evolution over the next five centuries, driven by a range of greenhouse gas scenarios.

The modeling shows that the Antarctic ice sheet has the potential to contribute between almost nothing, to contributing more than a meter of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 meters by 2500.

The startling high-end estimate arises from unabated emissions and previously under appreciated mechanisms:

  • ice-fracturing by surface meltwater
  • collapse of large ice cliffs

The low end shows that a scenario of strong climate mitigation can radically reduce societal exposure to higher sea levels. (…)

Doubles for 2100, because of Antarctica

‘(…) Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6–9 meters higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago).

In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability.

Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics – including previously under-appreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs – that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

Antarctica has the potential to contributmore than a meter of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than15 meters by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delaits recovery for thousands of years. (…)’

The Sea Level nearly doubles and the crust of Antarctica rebounds with 15 millimeters per year.

Link to the research report in Nature

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