Research published today (Oct. 2) in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, which sought to establish models of upcoming millennial sea-level changes, discovered that we have already produced enough greenhouse gases to raise our sea-levels 1.1 meters by the year 3000. The anticipated raise in sea level was determined by the average temperature increase and the rate of glacial melting. Depending on whether or not we change our global emission rates, the damage in the next two thousand years could be even more drastic (increase in sea level is predicted to reach up to 6.8 meters above current levels as anticipated by the emissions scenario by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
“Ice sheets are very slow components in the climate system; they respond on time scales of thousands of years. Together with the long life-time of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, this inertia is the real poison on the climate system: anything we do now that changes the forcing in the climate system will necessarily have long consequences for the ice sheets and sea level” said co-author of the study Professor Philippe Huybrechts. What all this means is that human environmental damage has already caused a long term climate change for our planet that is simply irreversible. The only realistic option we are left with is to drastically reduce our emissions in order to limit the concentration of greenhouse gases to the lowest possible level as soon as possible. “The lower the ultimate warming will be, the less severe the ultimate consequences will be.”