Oceans could rise by 8 metres - Environment - The Independent

Oceans could rise by 8 metres

A A A

The world's oceans are likely to rise by seven to eight metres over the next 1,000 to 2,000 years, a leading Australian research institute said today, but drastic change is unlikely in the next few centuries.

The world's oceans are likely to rise by seven to eight metres over the next 1,000 to 2,000 years, a leading Australian research institute said today, but drastic change is unlikely in the next few centuries.

The estimates by the Antarctic Cooperative Research Center, based on the southern island state of Tasmania, contradict the theory that there could be a large rise in sea levels over the next century.

"We want to get away from extremist ideas about changes," said Professor Bill Budd, who led a team that made the projections based on existing estimates of global warming.

The findings are part of Australia's contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body that is reviewing scientific estimates on long-term climate change.

The new estimates were based on the "middle road" scenario on greenhouse gas emissions - that emissions will stabilize in 100 years at about triple the pre-industrial levels. Emissions are currently about 1.5 times that level.

The centre said any major ocean change would be associated with the melting of the two remaining ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

The smaller Greenland ice sheet would, if completely melted, raise ocean levels by six metres.

Calculations suggest that warming by a few degrees might melt most of the sheet, but it would take 1,000 to 2,000 years.

The much larger Antarctic ice sheet would, if entirely melted, raise the oceans by about 55 metres. But warming of two to three degrees would have little effect because Antarctic temperatures generally remain well below the melting point of ice.

However, a one to two metre rise over the next 2,000 years could occur if glacier flow into the ocean increased because of melting of ice floating around Antarctica.

The centre said that over the next century or two there would be little melting of the ice sheets and ocean levels would be determined by thermal expansion - water expanding when it is heated - and the melting of non-polar glaciers.

The best estimate was that the oceans would rise by "several tens of centimetres per century".

"This is good news," said the institute's director, Professor Garth Paltridge.

"It tells us we are not going to drown over the next few hundred years because the Antarctic or Greenland ice caps suddenly take it into their heads to melt. There are always science fiction yarns and films which have left the public with the impression that that will happen."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week