Monday, October 19, 2015

Two Degree Celsius Warming Locks in Sea Level Rise for Thousands of Years

Paradise Bay, Antarctica (stock image) (Credit: © mrallen / Fotolia)  Click to Enlarge.
A jump in global average temperatures of 1.5°C-2°C will see the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves and lead to hundreds and even thousands of years of sea level rise, according to new research published in Nature.

The research highlights the moral significance of decisions made now about mitigating climate change.

An international team led by Dr Nicholas Golledge, a senior research fellow at New Zealand's Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre, published the study 'The multi-millennial Antarctic commitment to future sea-level rise', which predicts how the Antarctic ice-sheet will respond to future atmospheric warming.

Using state-of-the-art computer modeling, Dr Golledge and his colleagues including researchers from UNSW simulated the ice-sheet's response to a warming climate under a range of greenhouse gas emission scenarios.  They found in all but one scenario (that of significantly reduced emissions beyond 2020) large parts of the Antarctic ice-sheet were lost, resulting in a substantial rise in global sea-level.

"The long reaction time of the Antarctic ice-sheet -- which can take thousands of years to fully manifest its response to changes in environmental conditions -- coupled with the fact that CO₂ lingers in the atmosphere for a very long time means that the warming we generate now will affect the ice sheet in ways that will be incredibly hard to undo," Dr Golledge said.

Read more at Two Degree Celsius Warming Locks in Sea Level Rise for Thousands of Years

No comments:

Post a Comment