During a climate change summit in Copenhagen last week, with more than 2,000 researchers from 80 countries attending, scientists warned that global sea levels could rise with more than a metre, or more, by 2100. The rising sea levels, they warn, will displace 10% of the world’s population, around 600 million people who live in low-lying countries.
Just last week I told you that scientists are warning that the pace of climate change “have largely outpaced” the models and estimates from the IPCC 2007 report. And now this report shows that the rise in global sea levels is up to three times worse than previously predicted by the conservative estimates from IPCC .
“I would predict sea level rise by 2100 in the order of 1m,” Prof Konrad Steffen, of the University of Colorado, said. “It could be 1.2m or 0.9m, but it is 1m or more seeing the current change, which is up to three times more than the average predicted by the IPCC. It is a major change and it actually calls for action.”
Dr John Church, of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research in Tasmania, said: “The most recent satellite and ground based observations show that sea-level rise is continuing to rise at 3mm per year or more since 1993, a rate well above the 20th-century average. The oceans are continuing to warm and expand, the melting of mountain glaciers has increased and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are also contributing to sea level rise.”
Katherine Richardson, head of the Danish government’s commission on climate change policy, said that the IPCC report from 2007 was an “invaluable document”. But she also noted that the report would be “years out of date” when the next big UN climate negotiations start in Copenhagen this year.
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