By : Kavitha Shankar, Sr/Principal Coresspondent, ABC
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Activity: 3 comments 1981 views last activity : 07 06 2010 20:18:04 +0000
As I was going through the news this article made me take a real close look of it as it had something to do with India and its 3 important metropolitan cities. And thought this would be a worthwhile reading for users on the platform.
Days before the Copenhagen conference on climate change kicks off, a major study by a group of 100 international scientists has said that sea levels are likely to rise by as much as 1.4 metres (more than 4 feet) by the end of this century. That's twice as much as previously predicted in IPCC's fourth assessment report of 2007.
The report released by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is the first comprehensive review of the impact of global warming on Antarctica. The IPCC's 2007 report had projected that sea-levels could rise by 18cm to 59cm by 2099. Subsequent studies of glacial melts in Greenland and Antarctica had raised fears that sea rise could be much higher than that.
``We can see the west Antarctic glaciers are shrinking at a rate fast enough to contribute to a sea level rise of 1.4 m by 2100, but it will be no more than that,'' SCAR executive director Colin Summerhayes told reporters at a media briefing in London.
If these projections come true, most areas in low-lying island nations like the Maldives would go under the sea. Based on earlier studies, the UN's environmental panel has already warned that sea levels would be high enough to make the Maldives uninhabitable by 2100. The new study also significantly enhances the threat to the Indian coast — and cities like Mumbai, Chennai and the low-lying Kolkata.
"Anybody who lives in coastal cities needs to be slightly worried by projections of 1 metre or more,'' Summerhayes said.
Since 1870, global sea level has risen by about 20cm at an average rate of 1.7 mm/year. But in recent decades, the rate has risen sharply to 2.5mm/year, according to the latest figures. The rise in sea level is mainly a result of thermal expansion of the ocean due to global warming as well as increased water inflows from melting glaciers and ice caps.
The reports says that central Antarctica, that has so far been protected from warming due to a hole in the ozone layer, will also see the full effects of greenhouse gas increases as the ozone hole heals.
The scientists found that there has been significant thinning of the west Antarctic ice sheet and 90% of glaciers across the Antarctic peninsula had retreated over recent decades. But the bulk of the Antarctic ice sheet has shown little change over recent decades.
However, the report says, historically, small-scale climate variability has caused rapid ice loss, shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation in the continent. This shows Antarctica is highly sensitive to even minor climate changes. It says studies of sediments under recently lost ice shelves suggest ice shelf loss in some regions is unprecedented during this time scale.
This is something really scary news for me, I mean Global warming is something real serious issue out there, and the copenhagen summit which will be attended by all ministers of their respective countries to check their carbon footprint. And I hope they come up with solutions.
What are your views guys, Imagine the metropolitans near sea shores getting submerged in future which is not so far.
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