Sea levels rising more quickly than predicted, warn scientists
Wednesday 28 November 2012
Sea levels are rising faster than predicted as a result of climate change, scientists said today.
Satellite measurements show sea levels rose 3.2mm a year between 1993 and 2011, 60% above the 2mm estimate in central projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its most recent review of climate science.
A study published in the Institute of Physics (IOP) journal Environmental Research Letters said it was "very unlikely" the higher rate of sea level rise is due to natural variability such as temporary ice discharge from ice sheets.
Lead author Stefan Rahmstorf said: "This study shows once again that the IPCC is far from alarmist, but in fact has underestimated the problem of climate change.
"That applies not just for sea level rise but also to extreme events and the Arctic sea loss."
The researchers also warn that the rate of annual sea level rise may increase as global temperatures go up, a suggestion backed up by past sea level data and which leads to larger projections of future sea level rise than the IPCC predicts.
And they said the concern that the IPCC's estimates for future sea level rise are low is supported by the fact ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are increasingly losing mass, while the panel's projections assume that Antarctica will gain enough ice to compensate for losses from Greenland.
The study analysing global temperature and sea level data over the past two decades also found that temperature rises are consistent with the IPCC's projections in the fourth assessment report, published in 2007.
Once factors which cause natural variability in global temperatures, including solar and volcanic activity and the El Nino weather patterns in the Pacific, are removed there is an overall warming trend of 0.16C a decade.
This closely matches predictions by the IPCC, the researchers found.
The scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Tempo Analytics and Laboratoire d'Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiales, said it was important to assess how well past projections match what is happening as IPCC projections are increasingly used in decision-making.
Greenland’s dark snow may start global warming ‘feedback loop’
Climate change march: Investors pledge to take their money out of firms blamed for climate change
Climate change means rate of growth of trees has gone up by 77%
Badger found shot in the abdomen is 'proof' that cull is inhumane, activists say
Leading climate scientists call on religious leaders to help save the environment
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...
£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...