Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Long-term sea level rises may be greater than predicted

Cordis News: Sea levels may rise much further than long-term projections predict, even if today's carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are stabilised, says a new report published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

…..The team created a continuous reconstruction of sea level fluctuations over the past 520,000 years and compared it with data on climate change and carbon dioxide levels from Antarctic ice cores. Their results suggest that sea levels may rise to a much higher level than the long-term projections found in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)...

The research reveals a systematic relationship between global temperature and CO2 concentration and sea level changes over the past five glacial cycles. If this relationship is projected onto today's CO2 levels, this would result in a 25-metre sea level rise. The figures are in line with data from the Middle Pliocene era, 3 million years to 3.5 million years ago, when CO2 levels were similar to today's levels.

'We emphasise that such equilibration of sea level would take several thousands of years. But one still has to worry about the large difference between the inferred high equilibrium sea level and the level where sea level actually stands today,' commented Professor Michael Kucera of the University of Tübingen and Dr Mark Siddall of the University of Bristol…..

Ocean wave shot by Jon Sullivan, who has released it from PD Photo.org into the public domain

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