According to a new scientific pole of experts, we can expect global sea level to rise by more than three feet by the end of the century. This dramatic rise is due primarily to the melting of glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland.
The exact amount by which sea level will rise is still debated by scientists. In addition, the complexity of glaciers adds a whole other level of uncertainty. Bamber and co-author Willy Aspinall set out to determine the most likely scenario by polling 26 of the world’s leading glaciologists. About half answered the questions in 2010 and they were re-polled in 2012.
“We analyzed the results in a very systematic, rigorous, and statistically robust way,” Bamber said.
- average estimate: melting ice will contribute one foot to sea level rise
- there’s a five percent chance that ice could contribute over 2.8 feet
- if thermal expansion is included, estimates exceed three feet
“The numbers we are getting out of our elicitation reflect the fact that the world leaders in this field are now cognizant of the fact that the ice sheets are quite responsive and, in particular, there is a potential for them to make a really quite dramatic contribution,” Bamber said.
To learn more:
- Read this article from NBC News: ‘Horrible’ sea level rise of more than 3 feet plausible by 2100, experts say
- Find the full study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, here: An expert judgement assessment of future sea level rise from the ice sheets
- Check out this article about sea level rise projections: Is it too Late to Stop Sea-Level Rise?
- And this one: Antarctica, Greenland ice definitely melting into sea, and speeding up, experts warn
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