A UN report warns sea levels will rise faster than projected by 2100.
A new landmark report from the United Nations’ (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has revealed that sea levels could rise by a metre by 2100, faster than previously thought.
According to Climate Home News, the UN Report titled “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate“, the last of three special reports from the IPCC following last October’s urgent report, shows that the accelerating thaw of Antarctica might drive sea levels up by more than five metres by 2300 unless governments act quickly to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“Over the 21st century, the ocean is projected to transition to unprecedented conditions,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in the special report that was compiled by more than 100 scientists from 36 countries. It is considered to be the most detailed look at the impact of climate change ranging from melting glaciers on the world’s highest mountains to the depths of the oceans that cover 71% of the Earth’s surface.
According to CNN reporting, Ko Barrett, vice chair of the IPCC said: “This report is unique because for the first time ever, the IPCC has produced an in-depth report examining the furthest corners of the Earth — from the highest mountains in remote polar regions to the deepest oceans (…) We’ve found that even and especially in these places, human-caused climate change is evident.”
Science Magazine reports that compared with the last U.N. climate report, in 2014, the new assessment paints a grimmer picture of the future. By 2100, within the lifetime of those striking children, global sea level would likely rise by up to 1.1 meters if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated; the last IPCC report had set the upper limit at 0.98 meters. Even with steep cuts in fossil fuel burning, the oceans will rise between 0.29 and 0.59 meters, the report adds.
“There’s no scenario that stops sea level rise in this century. We’ve got to deal with this indefinitely,” says Michael Oppenheimer, a report author and climate scientist at Princeton University.