Experts predict higher sea level rise

2012-06-23 08:59

Washington - Global sea levels could rise two to three times higher over the next century than previous UN estimates, according to a study released Friday by the US National Research Council.

A committee of experts evaluated the latest UN data and updated those projections with new data on polar ice-cap melting that is believed to be speeding up sea level rise around the world.

By 2100, the NRC estimates that global sea levels will rise between 50 and 140 centimetres.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's projection in 2007 had predicted a fraction of that, at seven to 18-59 centimetres worldwide.

"Our answers are pretty much in line with what others have done except that the IPCC was a little timid in 2007 about the ice contribution, so using more current information about the ice melt we have a bigger contribution there," said Robert Dalrymple, committee chair and professor of civil engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

The wide range within each estimate is due to increasing uncertainty about sea level projections as researchers attempt to assess what may happen further and further into the future, the report said.

In the near term, the NRC predicted a global sea level rise of three to nine inches eight to 23 centimetres by 2030 over the 2000 level and seven to 19 inches 18 to 48 centimetres by 2050.

The committee was convened by an executive order from the state of California to assess sea level rise in order to inform preparations for coastal impact, and to make detailed predictions for the US West Coast.

The NRC found that the sea level was projected to rise faster than global estimates in much of southern California due to land erosion and subsiding coastline.

But the northern part of the state as well as the coasts of Oregon and Washington could see less of an impact than the rest of the world because of shifts in the Earth that are causing the coasts there to rise, it said.

"The lower sea levels projected for northern California, Washington and Oregon coasts are because the land is rising largely due to plate tectonics," said the report.
"In this region, the ocean plate is descending below the continental plate at the Cascadia Subduction Zone, pushing up the coast."

More severe weather events causing flooding and coastal erosion are expected to accompany higher sea levels, and a major earthquake in northern California could cause a sudden sea level rise of one meter (yard) or more, the report said.

The NRC study was jointly sponsored by the states of California, Washington and Oregon, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Geological Survey.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-06-23 09:10


  • Hugh - 2012-06-23 09:20

    Great now I will have that seaside house in Durban after all.

      kenneth.fisher.750 - 2012-06-23 09:27

      Yip, you just have to live for another 100 years :)

  • Ian - 2012-06-23 09:57

    next century but we have been told its bye bye on the 21st Dec

      heinrich.venter.9 - 2012-06-23 12:40

      Ian didn't you read about that discovery of a new mayan calendar? this one predicts another 2000 years until the end as we know it...

  • Frank - 2012-06-23 10:15

    Sea Front Property for sale in Zimbali

  • sad.sac.33 - 2012-06-24 05:35

    Never knew that you need a TEAM of Learned Fools to produce such tripe :-(

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-06-24 07:20

    Another scaremongering tactic by the new world wannabe leaders (sic!) to scare us into running around like headless chickens.

      morgaenart.farto - 2012-06-24 11:57

      Don't be so negative dude....Al Gore and the Euro Political Elites have our best interests at heart, they weally weally do.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-06-24 17:49

      @Robin: Dear Robin. You refute every single article that deals with manmade global warming. Is this wise? This attitude of yours remind me of the very famous disaster that happened in 1912: the sinking of the RMS Titanic. This disaster was caused by people that had a very similar attitude than yourself. So let ask you the following: What happened to the RMS titanic when the warnings about icebergs were repeatedly ignored?

  • sad.sac.33 - 2012-06-24 12:29

    Al Gore has ONLY HIS OWN interests at heart. He knows aboslutely nothing about enviromental issues and is following the path that will let him look best. The REAL Problem which NOBODY wants to FACE is OVER POPULATION which is calling for exploitation of natural resources to provide in their needs. THAT is the REAL PROBLEM and onviously the Environmental SCIENTISTS that are to stupid to see and acknowlege this. Hypocritical Environmentalist and Al Gore types use cars, cloths, computers, aeroplanes and all the spoils of over exploitation of natural resources without a blink of an eye, thus in their hypocricy they are GLADLY ATTRIBUTING to the problems instead of being part of the solution.

      gailcarolynhayes - 2012-06-24 13:16

      Totally agree with you! Overpopulation and water are the two major issues here followed closely by land loss or who knows gain. Man has no control over these issues unless they start to practice eugenics. The chines chose to do that and it caused an uproar. These teams of scientists should be figuring out how to deal with overpopulation in an acceptable way instead of making alarming statements every now and then. I would start by bringing back the death penalty to free up space in our prisons and I would also ban all artificial means of procreation since that is unnecessary and adds to the overpopulation. I would allow euthanasia for those who choose it - after all w shoot horses and animals don't we? On a slightly different topic sad sac33 I believe the word attributing should be replaced by exacerbating for that sentence to be understood correctly - just saying. Sometimes I can't find a word although I know it. Even adding to the problems woud read better.

      grant.sher.1 - 2012-06-24 19:22

      Overpopulation: Just do a bit of maths, get figures from wikipedia, if you put the whole world's population into USA, it would be less densely populated than Bangladesh is today, which is essentially a rural country; no we can hold many times as much population as we can today - the problem is greed, the rich that are exploiting the poor, corrupt leaders that are siphoning off their country's funds. We cannot hold any more population using today's model, but if we cared for the poor and did not exploit, then we have a totally different story!!

  • sad.sac.33 - 2012-06-25 00:53

    It is clear from your comment that you do not know or understand what over population means. It does NOT mean that every open space is to be covered by humans or live beings. It actually means that the population has become to large for the resource to sustain it. Regardless of what the resource is.

      grant.sher.1 - 2012-06-25 15:01

      It is clear you have been duped; there is plenty resources (in fact they are self sustaining) for a much bigger population; what we do not have is enough resources for our lavish life styles even today. If you do a look of how the world's resources are being used, you will find that USA is one of the biggest consumers of natural resources - they are clearly hogging more than their fair share and so is the rest of the west. If we would all be willing to simplify our life styles, smaller cars instead of 4X4s and 1 car per family (we could actually learn how to share again), use less water, etc - then the world can easily carry us all. It is not the quantity that is the problem, it is our lavish life style!!

  • zaatheist - 2012-06-25 08:23

    We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand. - James Watt (US Secretary of the Interior in Reagan Administration)

      grant.sher.1 - 2012-06-25 15:02

      As Christians we clearly have a mandate to look after the environment - unfortunately greed by everyone seems to be what rules this planet!!

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