Rise in sea level can't be stopped

2012-07-01 22:32

London - Rising sea levels cannot be stopped over the next several hundred years, even if deep emissions cuts lower global average temperatures, but they can be slowed down, climate scientists say.

A lot of climate research shows that rising greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for increasing global average surface temperatures by about 0.17ºC a decade from 1980-2010 and for a sea level rise of about 2.3mm a year from 2005-2010 as ice caps and glaciers melt.

Rising sea levels threaten about a tenth of the world's population who live in low-lying areas and islands which are at risk of flooding, including the Caribbean, Maldives and Asia-Pacific island groups.

More than 180 countries are negotiating a new global climate pact which will come into force by 2020 and force all nations to cut emissions to limit warming to below 2ºC this century - a level scientists say is the minimum required to avert catastrophic effects.

But even if the most ambitious emissions cuts are made, it might not be enough to stop sea levels rising due to the thermal expansion of sea water, said scientists at the United States' National Centre for Atmospheric Research, US research organisation Climate Central and Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research in Melbourne.

"Even with aggressive mitigation measures that limit global warming to less than 2ºC above pre-industrial values by 2100, and with decreases of global temperature in the 22nd and 23rd centuries ... sea level continues to rise after 2100," they said in the journal Nature Climate Change on Sunday.

This is because as warmer temperatures penetrate deep into the sea, the water warms and expands as the heat mixes through different ocean regions.

Even if global average temperatures fall and the surface layer of the sea cools, heat would still be mixed down into the deeper layers of the ocean, causing continued rises in sea levels.

If global average temperatures continue to rise, the melting of ice sheets and glaciers would only add to the problem.

  • Phillip van Niekerk - 2012-07-02 01:00

    What a bunch of Morons. You cannot Control Earth, get over it. - 2012-07-03 03:58

      Perhaps you need to think harder. America alone has enough resources to destory the Earth, let alone control it. A few well placed nuclear bombs would be sufficient enough to alter the Earths albedo. Given the money, time and will we have the technology to terraform Mars let alone the Earth.

  • Dave - 2012-07-02 01:01

    This is obvious. Mankind think and likes to think they are in charge - but -so not.....When we (whites) first came to South Africa we build a Castle in Cape Town- Which was surounded by Ocean....Why then is it strange to us that the ocean's returning to those levels of past.....Idiots

      Johan De Beer - 2012-07-02 01:09

      The castle in Cape Town was surrounded by ocean? Lol. Seriously? LOL! No man, get your facts right.

      piet.boerie - 2012-07-02 04:56

      It was surrounded buy water

      Dave - 2012-07-02 07:34

      Ok Ok - not really \surrounded\ but it \bordered on\ the edge ..... Just a word error. But the fact remains it wasn't as far away from the ocean as now so why did we go and build where the water was? Same answer.

      Mark - 2012-07-02 08:46

      LOL - Seriously guys, so the ocean has dropped it's level since 1652 in Cape Town but the sea level has been rising in the rest of the world since then. Don't believe all the urban legends and conspiracy theories that you come across.

  • huck.starr - 2012-07-02 04:20

    Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, GODs still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we Gods children would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous. We must stop sinning. All the drugs and porn and sex and stuff is making GOD angry.

      piet.boerie - 2012-07-02 04:57

      And God made porn and drugs...whats your point. Sea levels were higher before humans evolved into polluters - 2012-07-02 09:55

      Hahhahahahaahaaaaa!!! What a load of T0ss.

  • Vince.York - 2012-07-02 06:53

    Bring it on! Most of where humanity lives today was the bottom of the ocean a little while before!

      Colin - 2012-07-02 07:28

      Perhaps some carefully planned water diversions could restore the world population of destructive humans back to levels where Mother Nature has a chance of redressing the balance and allowing decent harmless animals to repopulate their natural habitats. Is no-one ashamed of our relentless destruction as a result of greed and our desire to flood the world with useless human specimens.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-07-02 07:34

    These comments made me realize how many idiots live on this planet. Such a bunch of imbeciles and religious nut-jobs.

      pepe.seymour.5 - 2012-07-02 09:14

      You didn't realise that until you read these comments? You must be one of the newer fellas. Ö¿Ö

  • sheralee.jones - 2012-07-02 07:52

    "Rising sea levels only threaten about a tenth of the world's population" - no apocalypse now?

  • craig.king.7505 - 2012-07-02 08:25

    What a nonsense report. The ocean can't be warmed by the air. Just try and warm a bowl of water with a hair dryer and see what happens. Evaporation increases but the water doesn't warm. Also the ocean hasn't risen over the last two years, it has in fact gone down by about 5mm. The overall trend hasn't changed in 150 years .

      Mark - 2012-07-02 08:51

      lol - You obviously never studied climatology at school. The sun does not warm the air directly, instead the suns rays shine on the surface of the earth and water which then heats up and thus warms the air. Basic standard six Geography, climatology class 101. :)

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-07-02 10:52

    "Rising sea level can't be stopped"! Oh wow! Such great words of wisdom. King Canute tried to stop the tides a long time ago and look what happened to him! When will the scaremonger morons realise that humans cannot stop or divert the forces of nature? Yes, the world is changing, it has always changed and will continue to do so until the very end (and that will not be on 12/12/2012!)

  • badballie - 2012-07-02 12:39

    Of course the sea level rise can't be stopped, when will the "scientists" in charge of the bullsh*t brigade realize that all the talk of climate change and global warming are nothing more than the nonsense it has always been. We are going through a period of "global warming" which is a natural cycle which will effect sea levels etc, nothing man has the ability to do will slow the cycle down by even a fraction of a second. This global warming is not uniform, never has been and never will be, while we see the shrinking of a large number of glaciers and ice drifts we are also seeing a large number of other glaciers that are in fact growing at increasing rates.

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