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October 19, 2011

Five Hundred Years of Rising Seas?

Perhaps that scene in The Day After Tomorrow of the Statue of Liberty up to her neck in water isn't so outlandish. Earlier this week a study out of the University of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute found that sea level rise could last 500 years if greenhouse-gas emissions continue at their current pace. Read more about the findings at Skepticalscience.com. Here's a snippet:

The research group has made calculations for four scenarios: A pessimistic one, where the emissions continue to increase. This will mean that sea levels will rise 1.1 meters by the year 2100 and will have risen 5.5 meters by the year 2500.

Even in the most optimistic scenario, which requires extremely dramatic climate change goals, major technological advances and strong international cooperation to stop emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere, the sea would continue to rise. By the year 2100 it will have risen by 60 cm and by the year 2500 the rise in sea level will be 1.8 meters. For the two more realistic scenarios, calculated based on the emissions and pollution stabilizing, the results show that there will be a sea level rise of about 75 cm and that by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters.

-- Brian Foley

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