Study Projects Two Feet of Sea Level Rise by 2100
The research, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, shows that global sea levels have risen roughly three millimeters (0.1 inches) per year in the past. However, that rate is not constant—it may jump to 10 millimeters per year by 2100.
One of the main drivers behind that acceleration is the melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.
Significantly, the projected sea level rise is a "conservative" estimate and may likely be higher, the researchers warn.
"There may be abrupt changes in the ice sheets," lead author Steve Nerem, a University of Colorado-Boulder professor of aerospace engineering sciences, told ThinkProgress. “That's why I think that this is a conservative estimate, because it doesn't consider what if the ice sheets really start to go."
Sea level rise is accelerating because of melting of ice sheets in Greenland & Antarctica, new study shows. Acceler… https://t.co/jbRsDh9PbB— seth borenstein (@seth borenstein)1518474461.0
The new research confirms computer-modeled projections from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Nerem told InsideClimate News that the study is important because it relies completely on observational data.
"Some folks have not wanted to do anything about climate change because they don't trust the models. These findings support the modeled projections," he said.
Sea level rise is already causing major problems for coastal cities, from high tides to intense storm surges.
"Any flooding concerns that coastal communities have for 2100 may occur over the next few decades," Oregon State University coastal flooding expert Katy Serafin told the Associated Press.
Coastal Flooding X-Factor: Natural Climate Patterns Create Hot Spots of Rapid Sea Level Rise… https://t.co/eU7Fbcdr8D— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1514912001.0
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By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.