Stunning Acceleration of Sea Level Rise

The scientists reported in a paper published Monday 22nd of February 2016 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have greater than 95 percent certainty that at least half of more than 5 inches of sea level rise they detected during the 20th century was directly caused by global warming. If we stop polluting now the rise will be additional 9 inches to 2 feet. That would trigger serious flooding in some areas, and worsen it in others.

On page 4 of the articles the authors compare the other and more likely scenario’s with their estimations:

Projected 21st Century GSL Rise. The semiempirical model can be combined with temperature projections for different Represen-tative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) to project future GSL change (Table 2, Fig. 1D, and Dataset S1, i). RCPs 8.5, 4.5, and 2.6 correspond to high-end “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions, moderate emissions abatement, and extremely strong emissions abatement, respectively. They give rise to very likely (P = 0.90) GSL rise projections for 2100 CE (relative to 2000 CE) of 52–131 cm, 33–85 cm, and 24–61 cm, respectively. Comparison of the RCPs indicates that a reduction in 21st century sea-level rise of ∼30 to 70 cm could be achieved by strong mitigation efforts (RCP 2.6), even though sea level is a particularly “slow- responding” component of the climate system.

Under the worst-case scenario investigated, if pollution continues and reduction of CO2 is not realised, what in fact is likely – we are already 15 year in the new age and there is no significant reduction the coming decennia likely, sea levels could rise more than 4 feet  (> the year 2000 level) this century , wiping out coastal infrastructure and driving communities inland. The problem would be made far worse if the Antarctic or Greenland ice sheets collapse — something that’s difficult to forecast. >>



Talking about public risk management, politics and leadership, good governance and economical innovation. PRIMO has selected Climate Change as one of main topics in public risk management. In the Think Tank ‘From Global to Local’ PRIMO will address this subject and discuss concrete management and governance measures. Within its portfolio climate change is addressed as ‘Demanded responsibility in high dynamics’.

Article Scientific American

Article Climate Central


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