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NASA Study Reveals Sea Levels Could Rise 15 Inches by 2100


One study found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, sea levels could rise 15 inches by 2100. More than 60 ocean, ice, and atmospheric scientists from around the world from 36 international institutions contributed to the investigation. Their new estimates revealed that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets alone could cause this rise in sea level. Furthermore, this does not even take into account the global rise in sea level already initiated by the warming of the Earth’s climate.

The results of this study align with the projections made by the 2019 Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Scientists estimated that Greenland would contribute 3.1 to 10.6 inches to global sea level rise this century. They projected that the Antarctic ice sheets could add 1.2 to 11 inches to sea level. In general, the melting of ice sheets causes about a third of the global sea level rise.

The results of the study

The results of this study have been published in an issue of the magazine The cryosphere. The data comes from Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6) run by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA satellite observations maintain changing sea level from space and use these data to estimate the impacts on melting ice sheets. They also hope to learn more about the causes of ice sheet retreat and ways to adapt to it. climate change.

“One of the biggest uncertainties when it comes to how much sea level will rise in the future is how much the ice sheets will contribute,” said project leader and ice scientist Sophie Nowicki. “And the contribution of the ice sheets really depends on what the climate will do.”

“The strength of ISMIP6 was bringing together most of the ice sheet modeling groups from around the world and then connecting with other ocean and atmospheric modeling communities to better understand what might happen to the ice sheets,” said Heiko. Goelzer. scientist at the Norwegian Research Center NORCE in Norway. Goelzer was the lead scientist for the Greenland Ice Sheet research.

Greenhouse gas emissions will determine sea level rise.

Both rising air temperatures and rising ocean temperatures have caused the Greenland ice sheet to rapidly melt. As a result, it contributes greatly to global sea level rise. However, how much it will increase depends on the level of carbon emissions that is released into the atmosphere. The ISMIP6 team investigated two different scenarios set for future IPCC climate to estimate sea level rise by 2100. In the first, emissions continue to rise rapidly and in the second, emissions have been drastically reduced.

Greenland ice sheet

In this scenario, they found that the Greenland ice sheet would cause a further global increase. Rising sea levels about 3.5 inches by 2100. With lower emissions, the retreating ice sheet would only raise global sea level by about 1.3 inches. Remember that these estimates do not include ice that has already been lost due to rising temperatures between pre-industrial times and now. Previous studies estimated that the Greenland ice sheet would add about a quarter of an inch of sea level rise by 2100 due to this factor alone.

Learn how Maryland became the first state to ban Styrofoam take-out containers.

Antarctica Ice Sheet

The ISMIP6 team also analyzed the Antarctic ice sheet to estimate how much sea level rise would affect it. (Remember that this amount does not include the rise in sea level triggered by warming temperatures.) Scientists say they have a more difficult time estimating future ice loss from this ice sheet for several reasons. In the west, warm ocean currents cause erosion at the bottom of large floating ice shelves, resulting in a loss. However, on the east side, the ice sheet often gains mass due to increased snowfall as a result of warmer air temperatures.

This means that a greater variety of possibilities could occur. But that depends on how this ice sheet reacts to the changing weather. Their research reveals that extreme fluctuations in the ice sheet could lower sea level by 3.1 inches or increase it by as much as 12 inches. As we said, this all depends on the climate and greenhouse gas emissions in the future. However, climate model projections show the most severe loss in the West Antarctic ice sheet. In warmer weather conditions, it causes up to 7.1 inches of sea level rise by 2100.

What Researchers Say About Sea Level Rise

“The Amundsen Sea region in West Antarctica and the Wilkes Land in East Antarctica are the two regions most sensitive to warming ocean temperatures and changing currents, and will continue to lose large amounts of ice,” said Hélène Seroussi. , an ice scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion. Laboratory in Southern California. Seroussi led the investigation of the Antarctic ice sheet.

“With these new results, we can focus our efforts in the right direction and know what to work on to continue to improve projections.”

Various groups within the ISMIP6 community contribute to different aspects of ice sheet modeling research. The models help them better understand why the ice sheets have changed and improve estimates of sea level rise.

“It took more than six years of workshops and teleconferences with scientists from around the world working on ice sheet, atmosphere and ocean modeling to build a community that was finally able to improve our projections of sea level rise.” Nowicki said. “The reason it worked is because the polar community is small, and we are all very interested in solving this future sea level problem. We need to know these numbers. “

The new results will help scientists collect data for the sixth IPCC report to be published in 2022.

Final thoughts on the study that showed sea level could rise 15 inches by 2100

New data and climate modeling systems have shown that sea level could rise by 15 inches by 2100. 60 scientists from around the world have contributed to the research, using advanced climate technology and satellite imagery.

Future greenhouse gas emission rates will largely determine global sea level rise. If we keep emissions low, the sea level will not rise more than a few centimeters. However, in the highest emissions scenario with very hot weather, we could see a sea level rise of 15 inches by the end of the century.





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