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Emissions up until this point have ensured an irreversible sea-level rise of 1.1 meters by the year 3000

A new study has found that it's too late to reverse the effects that greenhouse gas emissions will have on sea levels over the next thousand years -- but we could lessen the impact of these effects if proper changes are made. 

According to research by scientists at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Université catholique de Louvain, greenhouse gas emissions produced up to this point has ensured an irreversible sea-level rise of 1.1 meters by the year 3000. This number could increase, they warn, if no action is taken to reduce these levels -- and the effects could extend into thousands of years into the future.  

The research team came to this conclusion by modeling sea-level changes over thousands of years while including all of our planet's ice sheets and warming of the oceans into its projections. This includes glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The team said this has never been done before. 

Using a climate modeling system called LOVECLIM, the team analyzed several scenarios over the next thousand years. It found that there will be a sea-level rise of at least 1.1 meters by the year 3000, but if other certain emissions scenarios were followed, it could increase to 2.1, 4.1 or even 6.8 meters. 

The study also found that the Greenland ice sheet was the cause of over half of the sea-level rises while thermal expansion of the ocean came in second place and glaciers/ice came in third. 

"Ice sheets are very slow components in the climate system; they respond on time scales of thousands of years," said Professor Philippe Huybrechts, co-author of the study. "Together with the long lifetime of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, this inertia is the real poison on the climate system; anything we do now that changes the forcing in the climate system will necessarily have long consequences for the ice sheets and sea level.

"Ultimately, the current polar ice sheets store about 65 metres of equivalent sea level and if climatic warming will be severe and long-lasting, all ice will eventually melt. Mankind should limit the concentration of greenhouse gases at the lowest possible level as soon as possible. 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." 

This study was published in Environmental Research Letters

Source: Science Daily

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RE: This is good news
By m51 on 10/3/2012 9:50:16 AM , Rating: 2
To quote a figure like 7 inches a century obscures most of the actual data and gives people a false understanding.
I find a graph gives a much fuller and more accurate picture.

You'll notice the sea level has been relatively constant for the last 4000 years and has not been rising 7 inches a year. It's only in the last 100 years that the 7 inch/year rate is valid. Unless you go back to ending of the last ice age.

RE: This is good news
By ironargonaut on 10/3/2012 4:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the link, from it I can clearly see that a rise of 1-2M in a millenia is well within normal boundaries.

Also, I can see from the last 100 year graph that the rising sea levels do not correlate to the rate in rise of CO2 over the same period.

Therefore, I am left to conclude that sea level rise is within natural variability, and while the last 100yr rise may be attributable to the industrial age no such graph is posted for a legible scale of say the last 200yrs. If a graph of last 200yrs or longer was posted it would indicate whether the rise is consistent with a period in which industralization was present but not consistent w/the non idustralized period. Therefore, I can reach no reliable or logical conclusion from the meager graphs shown whether or not sea level rise can be correlated w/AGW.

RE: This is good news
By dgingerich on 10/3/2012 7:29:39 PM , Rating: 2
You'll notice the sea level has been relatively constant for the last 4000 years

um, no, it hasn't. There are ruins of ancient towns all up and down the Mediterranean coast that are inland by hundreds of feet that have docks as if they were coastal towns. There are old maps all over the place that show a far different coast back in 350-500BC. The sea level was higher back then, and has risen and fallen repeatedly over human history. There are ruins of coastal towns and cities both far from the coast and under the water. I've seen evidence of that all over the place since I was old enough to begin to question why, at about age 6.

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