RESOURCE HUB: SEA LEVEL RISE

Sea Level Rise Projections and Sea Level Rise Predictions

Sea level rise is a huge problem caused by climate change.  Rising temperatures around the globe are causing glacial ice to melt and flow into the ocean.  ‘Some argue that floating ice won’t make water rise when it melts. That may be partly true, but ice that was on land will. Greenland is one of the prime examples of glacial ice melt that is contributing to sea level rise.  Scientists now believe that it has crossed the “tipping point” of no return.  Similar issues can be seen in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.  Water also expands when it warms causing thermal expansion, which is also contributing to rising seas.

Sea Level Rise 2019

According to NOAA,  2019  had the highest annual average sea level rise ever recorded according to sea level rise data collected from satellites and other instruments which had it over 3.4inches (87.61centimeters) above 1993 levels and estimated 8inches above 1880 levels. The rate is accelerating.  Sea level rose .24 inches (6.1 millimeters) in just one year from 2018-2019.

Projected Sea Level Rise by 2050

NOAA also predicts that sea levels could be as high as 19inches by 2050 at the current rate. A study by Nature Communications projects that over 150million homes currently in coastal communities in 2020, could be completely underwater and over 300 million homes could be lost during flood conditions by 2050.

Sea level rise by 2100

Sea level may rise between 61cm and 1.3m by 2100 according to the IPCC worst case scenarios if the ocean if air pollution from greenhouse gas emissions is not reduced.  Different models have been used to make sea level rise predictions.  Some have them nearly double the current projections.

(Check out our sea level rise maps & mapping tools hub for more information)

Consequences of Sea Level Rise

The consequences of glacial ice melt and sea level rise could be devastating to life on earth as we know it. Not only for losing homes in coastal communities and reduction in biodiversity, but also for the loss of fresh water from the ice melt.

What can be done about Sea level Rise?

The issues can seem so enormous they can cause paralysis.  The truth is, we still have a chance to do something about it. In fact, there are opportunities for innovations that not only can address different aspects of sea level rise, they also can create economic and ecological benefits. Regardless if the sea level rise projections are correct, reducing air pollution, slowing deforestation, growing regenerative agriculture, conserving energy and expanding renewable energy development are a good idea for many other reasons as well.

 

 

 





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