. Earth Science News .

Sea levels will continue to rise for 500 years
by Staff Writers
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Oct 18, 2011

The graph shows how sea levels will change for four different pathways for human development and greenhouse gas pollution. The green, yellow and orange lines correspond to scenarios where it takes 10, 30, or 70 years before emissions are stabilized. The red line can be considered to represent business as usual where greenhouse gas emissions are increasing over time. Credit: Aslak Grinsted.

Rising sea levels in the coming centuries is perhaps one of the most catastrophic consequences of rising temperatures. Massive economic costs, social consequences and forced migrations could result from global warming.

But how frightening of times are we facing? Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute are part of a team that has calculated the long-term outlook for rising sea levels in relation to the emission of greenhouse gases and pollution of the atmosphere using climate models. The results have been published in the scientific journal Global and Planetary Change.

"Based on the current situation we have projected changes in sea level 500 years into the future. We are not looking at what is happening with the climate, but are focusing exclusively on sea levels", explains Aslak Grinsted, a researcher at the Centre for Ice and Climate, the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Model based on actual measurements
He has developed a model in collaboration with researchers from England and China that is based on what happens with the emission of greenhouse gases and aerosols and the pollution of the atmosphere.

Their model has been adjusted backwards to the actual measurements and was then used to predict the outlook for rising sea levels.

The research group has made calculations for four scenarios:

A pessimistic one, where the emissions continue to increase. This will mean that sea levels will rise 1.1 meters by the year 2100 and will have risen 5.5 meters by the year 2500.

Even in the most optimistic scenario, which requires extremely dramatic climate change goals, major technological advances and strong international cooperation to stop emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere, the sea would continue to rise. By the year 2100 it will have risen by 60 cm and by the year 2500 the rise in sea level will be 1.8 meters.

For the two more realistic scenarios, calculated based on the emissions and pollution stabilizing, the results show that there will be a sea level rise of about 75 cm and that by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters.

Rising sea levels for centuries
"In the 20th century sea has risen by an average of 2mm per year, but it is accelerating and over the last decades the rise in sea level has gone approximately 70% faster.

Even if we stabilize the concentrations in the atmosphere and stop emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we can see that the rise in sea level will continue to accelerate for several centuries because of the sea and ice caps long reaction time. So it would be 2-400 years before we returned to the 20th century level of a 2 mm rise per year", says Aslak Grinsted.

He points out that even though long-term calculations are subject to uncertainties, the sea will continue to rise in the coming centuries and it will most likely rise by 75 cm by the year 2100 and by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters.


Related Links
University of Copenhagen
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Far more bluefin sold than reported caught: report
Paris (AFP) Oct 18, 2011
More than twice as many tonnes of Atlantic bluefin tuna were sold last year compared with official catch records for this threatened species, according to a report released on Tuesday. This "bluefin gap" occurred despite enhanced reporting and enforcement measures introduced in 2008 by the 48-member International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which sets annual qu ... read more

A team for an emergency

Fukushima city begins decontamination of homes

Gas blast kills 11 miners in north China: Xinhua

Radioactive emissions from Fukushima plant fall: TEPCO

Apple profit soars but misses high expectations

China rare earths giant halts output as prices fall

Camera lets people shoot first, focus later

A hidden order unraveled

Deep-reef coral hates the light, prefers the shade

Study identifies molecules used by certain species of seaweed to harm corals

New photos reveal Taiwan shark fishing: report

Massive S.Korea river project still making waves

CryoSat rocking and rolling

US probes mystery disease killing Arctic seals

NASA Continues Critical Survey of Antarctica's Changing Ice

Research shows how life might have survived 'snowball Earth'

Farmland floods do not raise levels of potentially harmful flame retardants in milk

Food without preservatives - thanks to self-cleaning equipment

Southern Africian farmers using fertilizer trees to improve food security

S Africa to release report on Iraq's oil-for-food

Clustered hurricanes reduce impact on ecosystems

125,000 displaced in Mexico floods

Thai PM appeals for unity amid flood crisis

Russian Ship Finds Tsunami Debris where Scientists Predicted

Kenyan forces advance on strategic Somali rebel bases

Car bomb rocks Mogadishu during Kenyan ministers visit

Kenyan forces hunt militants deep inside Somalia

Planned Tanzanian soda ash plant threatens flamingoes

Protecting the brain when energy runs low

Police take control of Britain's biggest traveller site

Friends in mind: Facebook network shows in brain structure

Children prefer cooperation


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement