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Sea Levels Could Rise More Than 4 Feet by 2100, Scientists Warn
By Alistair Walsh
Global sea levels will probably rise by even more than currently predicted, scientists warned on Friday.
Even if nations are able to achieve their Paris-Agreement commitment to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the oceans will still rise by about 0.5 meters (1.6 feet) by the end of the century and as much as 2 meters by 2300, a new study found.
If nations fail to act, and current emissions lead to warming of 4.5 degrees, then sea levels are predicted to rise between 0.6 and 1.3 meters by 2100 and between 1.7 and 5.6 meters by 2300.
The predictions are based on a survey of 106 of the world's leading sea level researchers, carried out by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and co-authored by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and published in the Nature Partner Journal Climate and Atmospheric Science.
Mitigation Is 'In Our Hands'
"What we do now within a few decades will determine sea-level rise for many centuries, the new analysis shows more clearly than ever before," PIK's Stefan Rahmstorf said. "But this is also good news: when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, we have it in our own hands how much we increase the risks for millions of people on the world's coasts, from Hamburg to Shanghai and from Mumbai to New York.
The predictions are higher than those currently published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has already increased its predictions.
In September 2019, the UN climate science panel found that unmitigated climate change would lead to a sea level rise of between 0.61 meters and 1.1 meters by 2100. At the time it said the forecast could be conservative due to the speed at which Antarctic ice could melt.
Friday's report said the increased forecast came from better data and improved understanding of climate processes.
Data for Decision Makers
"The complexity of the sea-level rise projections and the sheer volume of relevant scientific publications makes it difficult for policy makers to gain an overview of the state of research," NTU's Benjamin Horton said in a statement.
"For such an overview, it is therefore useful to ask leading experts what kind of sea-level rise they expect — this gives a broader picture of future scenarios and provides policymakers with the information they need to decide on the necessary measures."
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
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At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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