This was the first-ever study to include the effects of land ice and ocean-warming in a model of sea-level changes over millions of years. Polar ice sheets are normally not include in sea-level projections because of computational restraints, and many do not include thermal expansion of the oceans.
The researchers found that thermal expansion was the second highest contributor, while melting of the Greenland ice sheet was responsible for over half of sea-level rise; the contribution of glaciers and ice was small.
“Mankind should limit the concentration of greenhouse gases at the lowest possible level as soon as possible,” explained co-author Professor Philippe Huybrechts. “The only realistic option is a drastic reduction of the emissions. The lower the ultimate warming will be, the less severe the ultimate consequences will be.”
To learn more:
- Find the results, published today (Oct 2), in the journal Environmental Research Letters: Millennial total sea-level commitments projected with the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM
- Read the full press release from the Institute of Physics, here: Sea-level study shows signs of things to come
- Check out a New Approach to Determining Sea Level Rise
- Calculate your carbon footprint
- Global climate change indicators
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