Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Scientists predicted a quick global catastrophe

Scientists predicted a quick global catastrophe Scientists predicted a quick global catastrophe
Sandra Phillips | 15 February, 2018, 20:27

Sea level rise is happening now, and the rate at which it is rising is increasing every year, according to a study released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using 25 years' worth of satellite data, the team led by aerospace engineering professor Steve Nerem observed the acceleration of the sea level rise and found that global sea levels could increase by twice as much as earlier predicted.

But that rate is not constant.

Changes in the sea level rise can result to more flooding and erosion.

That estimate, he added, assumes that the rate at which ocean levels rise will remain constant.

"This result is important because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)" - the United Nations science advisory body - "makes a very conservative projection of total sea level rise by the end of the century", at 60 to 90 centimeters (24 to 35 inches), said Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Oxford who did not take part in the research.

"This is a major warning about the dangers of a sea level rise that will continue for many centuries, even after global warming is stopped", said Brian Hoskins, chair of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.

Consider the record set in Boston Harbor during January's "bomb cyclone" or the inundation regularly experienced in Miami during the King tides; these are occurring with sea levels that have risen about a foot in the past 100 years. He says these cities would survive under normal situations, but when a storm like 2012's Sandy hits, the sea level rise coupled with storm surges can cause devastating damages.

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In their observation, the researchers took into account the factors that significantly altered the sea levels for several years, like the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines and the annual El Niño and La Niña phenomenon.

The researchers used data from other scientific missions such as GRACE, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, to determine what was causing the rate to accelerate.

The research has revealed that roughly 55 percent out of the 7.5cm rise in the past 25 years was primarily due to warmer water that has been expanding and the rest can be attributed to melting ice. But the process is accelerating, and more than three-quarters of that acceleration since 1993 is due to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, the study shows.

Theirs is a troubling finding when considering the recent rapid ice loss in the ice sheets.

"We are now observing these impacts", said Harig.

Chris Harig, one of the study authors, told VICE News that sea level rise negatively impacts coastal communities, drought can put strain on water resources, and rising temperatures can affect the growth of crops.

However, as the melting of massive ice sheets and glaciers in both Antarctica and Greenland speed up and global temperatures increase, the rate of sea level is expected to jump sharply, with scientists predicting increases of 3 to 6 feet by 2100.

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