Sea-level rise exceeds expectations

Sea levels will rise much more rapidly than previously believed due to the rate that ice sheets and glaciers are melting, reported the Times, citing a study commissioned by the United States Climate Change Science Program. The research concludes that the rises will substantially exceed previously forecasted levels that do not take into account the latest data and observations.


To evaluate the mechanisms behind such rapid transformation, the study — presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union — examined prehistoric periods when the climate shifted dramatically over several decades. The findings suggest that current predictions of a rise of between 18 centimetres and 61 centimetres over the next century are conservative.


However, the report also indicates that some of the negative consequences of global warming may not be as severe as scientists believe. For example, the rapid release of methane stored on the seabed and in permafrost may be less likely than feared.


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