Azara Blog: Sea level rise could be 1.6m this century

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Date published: 2007/12/17

The BBC says:

The world's sea levels could rise twice as high this century as UN climate scientists have previously predicted, according to a study.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposes a maximum sea level rise of 81cm (32in) this century.

But in the journal Nature Geoscience, researchers say the true maximum could be about twice that: 163cm (64in).
...
In the latest study, researchers came up with their estimates by looking at the so-called interglacial period, some 124,000 to 119,000 years ago, when Earth's climate was warmer than it is now due to a different configuration of the planet's orbit around the Sun.

That was the last time sea levels reached up to 6m (20ft) above where they are now, fuelled by the melting of ice sheets that covered Greenland and Antarctica.
...
Back then, Greenland was 3C to 5C (5.4F to 9F) warmer than now - which is similar to the warming period expected in the next 50 to 100 years, Dr Rohling said.

Current models of ice sheet activity do not predict rates of change this large. However, they also do not include many of the dynamic processes already being observed by glaciologists, the researchers said.

"The average rise of 1.6m per century that we find is roughly twice as high as the maximum estimates in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, and so offers the first potential constraint on the dynamic ice sheet component that was not included in the headline IPCC values," explained Dr Rohling.

Well, it's only one study, and no doubt the error bars are large, and then was then and now is now, and the two situations are not perfectly comparable. But at what point will people living in coastal areas start to believe these stories and begin to move inland?

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