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Catastrophic Rise In Sea Level Warning

By Vlad Tverdohleb , Jul 22, 2015 12:37 AM EDT
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A breathtaking new study on climate change casts raises a high alert about the near-term stability of global sea levels. This new scientific paper comes to feed a growing concern on potential devastating consequences of climate change.

Dr. James Hansen, the most reputable name in climate science and former NASA's lead scientist, released this week a new paper that warns the factors of political decision that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming may have catastrophic consequences for humanity.

The paper will be published online later this week in the European Geosciences Union journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion. The study projects catastrophic rise of sea levels as much as 10 feet over the next half of century.

According to the paper there is evidence indicating that sea levels have risen 16 to 30 feet thousands of years ago, when average temperatures were just 1 degree Celsius warmer than today. The temperature increase has also caused extreme in that epoch far in the Earth's past.

Hansen, together with other 16 scientists, co-authors of the paper, intended its publication as a warning message to policymakers.  According to Hansen, the current goals in greenhouse-gas reduction are not strong enough. In the year 2009, the Copenhagen Accord has set the goal to limit average warming to only 2 degrees Celsius and world leaders from G7 group have reiterated their commitment to this goal in June this year.

The authors of the scientific paper on climate change is sending a strong message to policymakers that international cooperation is necessary in order to manage the potential global crisis and reduce emissions as rapidly as possible.

The projections in the new study are based on an anticipated accelerated melting of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland due to effects of greenhouse gases rising atmospheric concentrations. The consequences of melting ice sheets will change water circulation patterns and will bring more fresh and cold water into the world's oceans. This will lead to even more melting of the ice sheets, pushing sea levels to rise much faster than anticipated.

According to the climate research paper, continued high emissions of greenhouse gases will make sea level rise to occur faster and to become practically unavoidable. This will lead to dramatic economic consequences and devastating social disruption.

Until April 2013, Hansen was the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Now he is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The reputable climatologist has been warning for years about climate threats. The gravity of potential consequences of climate change made Hansen moving from dispassionately investigating the science to become an actively advocate for concrete solutions to this serious problem confronting the humankind.

Not all scientists agree with the conclusions of Hansen's paper. For instance, Seth Borenstein, Associated Press science writer, expressed his contradictory opinion on Twitter, explaining that the reason he don't believe the conclusions of this research paper is primarily because it had not yet been peer-reviewed.

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