London and New York will be underwater in decades, scientists say
Most scientists agree that sea levels will rise, but some say it won’t happen for centuries.
Now, a new study suggests sea levels will increase several feet over the next 50 years.
It claims the world’s coastal cities, including New York and London, could be underwater by the end of the century.
Without a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the global sea level is likely to increase ‘several meters over a timescale of 50 to 150 years’, the paper states.
It points to the fact that the Earth’s oceans were six to nine meters higher during the Eemian period.
This took place about 120,000 years ago, at a time when temperatures were only around 1°C warmer than today.
Global warming of 2°C above pre-industrial times would risk submerging cities, the paper said.
‘We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,’ James E. Hansen, a retired Nasa climate scientist who led the new research, told The New York Times.
The paper was released this morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
‘Current assessments place emphasis on practical effects such as increasing extremes of heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall, floods and encroaching seas,’ reads the study.
‘There is an urgency to slow carbon dioxide emissions
‘The longevity of the carbon in the climate system and persistence of the induced warming may lock unavoidable highly undesirable consequences.’
The consequences would include killer storms, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise in sea levels that would exceed that worlds coastal cities before the end of this century, claim researchers.
The paper talks about a specific mechanism that will provoke this abrupt climate shift.