Sea Levels Could Increase by 25 Meters

Greenland‘s ice caps are apparently melting at a rapid clip. Here is a story that discusses the potential problems of this happening. In addition there is discussion about how current climate models may not be able to predict how high sea levels can go. The article says that sea levels can increase by 25 meters! Excerpt:

Our Nasa scientists have measured this in Greenland. And once these ice streams start moving, their influence stretches right to the interior of the ice sheet. Building an ice sheet takes a long time, because it is limited by snowfall. But destroying it can be explosively rapid.

How fast can this go? Right now, I think our best measure is what happened in the past. We know that, for instance, 14,000 years ago sea levels rose by 20m in 400 years – that is five metres in a century. This was towards the end of the last ice age, so there was more ice around. But, on the other hand, temperatures were not warming as fast as today.

How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today – which is what we expect later this century – sea levels were 25m higher. So that is what we can look forward to if we don’t act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this. But I prefer the evidence from the Earth’s history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.

  • vacuum cleaner
    August 6, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    I have read several times about the rising of the sea levels and I have to wonder whether some of our purchase decisions as a world are actually speeding up the process. I understand the effects of global warming caused by our dependence on gasoline but what do you think about other purchases? We create so much waste. What about the purchase of pesticide treated foods over organic foods? What about the amounts of rubber we purchase hwo we dispose, or don’t dispose of, our waste and other garbage articles? Would it be possible to change the imminent destruction you’ve quoted if we were all to start making different purchases? Or are we already at a point where the reversal of this problem can’t be solved by our shopping choices? Whether there’s an answer for this or not, it is an interesting thought and hopefully it can spur some interesting thoughts.

  • Custom pet art
    March 13, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Here in our place, the weather is acting really weird. We’re expecting humid weather and scorching heat of the sun. What happens instead are heavy rains, super cold weather, and it’s really windy.

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