Rising Sea Levels Putting 40% of World Population at Risk

When you consider global warming – melting glaciers, rising temperatures, forest fires, and increasing sea levels – are some of the major impacts that pop to mind almost immediately. Thanks to the massive campaigns for restoring the ecosystem worldwide, everyone is aware of the potential dangers of global warming. However, it will not be an overstatement to say that very little is being done on the grass-root level to avoid the inevitable.

With more and more cars running on the roads emitting toxic fumes, more CFC emitting devices, and increased industrialization leading to the cutting down of forests, the global temperature is rising and causing a major climatic change despite the efforts environmental agencies are putting in to save the environment. Studies suggest that the 100-year projections are still very bleak.

IPCC’s Projection on Rising Sea Levels:

According to projections made in 2019 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body that reports on climatic changes, the sea levels would rise roughly by a maximum of 1.10 meters (3.61 feet) by the end of this century. A more conservative approach suggested that if the environmental protection agencies continued to actively engage in reinforcement of climate protection measurements, the sea level rise may be limited to 0.61 meters (2 feet).

The projections were made taking into account current climatic changes, greenhouse gas emissions, ocean warming, and the behavioral changes adopted by humans to reduce their carbon footprints.

Sea Levels Rising Much Faster than IPCC Projections:

However, many scientists believe that the IPCC’s model to calculate the rising sea levels is failing to take into account historical patterns and the sea levels might be rising at a rate faster than projected.

Environmental scientists from the University of Copenhagen and the Bjerknes Center for Climate Research in Norway joined hands and derived a new way to measure the direct impact of rising global temperatures on the sea levels. Their findings were published in February 2021, in the Ocean Science Journal and have raised serious concerns.

According to the study, looking through the lens of historical data, the sea levels are actually projected to rise by half a meter if the temperature rises only half a degree Celsius. However, given the current rate, the global temperature might go up to 2 Celsius causing a correspondingly higher rise in sea levels by the end of 2100

Nearly 40% of the global population is at risk given that they live near the coastlines and projections of the recent study suggest that the rise in the sea levels might go beyond 1 meter if the temperatures continue to rise.

Depleting the Carbon Budgets:

The study further suggests that to prevent the risks associated with such an alarming rise in sea levels, the global economy must reduce carbon emissions by 200 billion metric tons in addition to the actual carbon emission reduction required to meet the climate goals for the century.

The co-author of the study and geophysicist from the University of Copenhagen, Aslak Grinsted said that the global carbon budget has depleted even more and the current projections are too conservative to call for drastic measures.

Drawing a comparison between the IPCC projections and the research paper findings, the scientists have proposed that the upper levels of rising sea levels in the IPCC reports are too low and the IPCC hasn’t taken historical data into account thus calling for more urgent and active measures to stop the global temperatures from rising.

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Futuristic Sci Fi writer.

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