Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sea Level Rise May Be Double Previous Predictions

The greater than predicted melting of ice from increasing temperatures that has been observed recently has made it very difficult for scientists to predict with confidence how high sea levels will rise during the rest of this century. According to an article in Reuters scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change have suggested that the increase in sea level would be about 32 inches at most. This figure has now been challenged by a report published in Nature Geoscience which predicts a potential rise of as high as 64 inches. The research team, led by Eelco Rohling of National Oceanography Centre in Britain, made the estimate based on studies of the interglacial of about 124,000 to 119,000 years ago. During this period sea level reached about 20 feet above the present level. The researchers, who found that each century during this period there was an average sea level rise of 64 inches, contend that their study is the first to provide really good documentation of how quickly sea level can rise.
This report seems to continue a trend of mostly bad scientific news. It was just reported a few days ago that the Arctic may be free of ice during the summer in as little as 5 years. This time frame has quickly shrunk from a 100 years to 35 years to about 60 months. It is logical that these types of reports would spur leaders to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible but this does not appear to be the case.

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