Scientists offer revised forecast on ocean levels

Global sea levels may rise by up to two metres by 2100 because of global warming, but predictions of even larger increases may be unrealistic, US scientists say in a new study. While lower than many existing projections, the new estimates still are alarming.
Scenarios by Tad Pfeffer of the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and others — published in the journal
Science — examined the loss of ice from Greenland, Antarctica and smaller glaciers and ice caps around the world. The study considered
chunks of ice falling into the oceans — from glaciers and ice sheets — and floating, as well as ocean expansion due to rising water temperatures.
"If you look at the actual mechanics of how glaciers work," Pfeffer told Reuters, "there doesn’t seem to be a realistic way that we know
about to get more than about two meters of sea-level rise in the next century." He added: "The real unknown right now is what we call the
dynamic effect of ice not melting but just being pushed straight into the ocean."

Scientists have debated how much the seas will rise, with some estimates projecting a possible increase of six metres. Pfeffer says
he sees no solid evidence of that, although even the lower estimate would likely cause major problems for millions of people in low-lying
coastal areas. Regions of Bangladesh, China and elsewhere could be devastated, while coastal cities such as New Orleans, Amsterdam or
Venice could be inundated.

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