Sea level rise to outpace temperature increase
Even if all greenhouse gases had been stabilized in the year 2000, we would still be committed to a warmer Earth and greater sea level rise in the present century, according to a new study by a team of climate modelers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The findings are published in this weeks issue of the journal Science.
The modeling study quantifies the relative rates of sea level rise and global temperature increase that we are already committed to in the 21st century. Even if no more greenhouse gases were added to the atmosphere, globally averaged surface air temperatures would rise about a half degree Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit) and global sea levels would rise another 11 centimeters (4 inches) from thermal expansion alone by 2100.
"Many people dont realize we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise because of the greenhouse gases we have already put into the atmosphere," says lead author Gerald Meehl. "Even if we stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, the climate will continue to warm, and there will be proportionately even more sea level rise. The longer we wait, the more climate change we are committed to in the future."
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