Scientists Say Seas Could Still Rise 20 Feet Even If Emissions Targets Reached

By on July 20, 2015
Scientists say sea levels could continue to rise even if current emissions targets are maintained. (Credit: JimChampion/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Scientists say sea levels could continue to rise even if current emissions targets are maintained. (Credit: JimChampion/CC BY-SA 3.0)

According to a recent article from Reuters, a team of international scientists has found that global sea levels could still rise a whopping 20 feet, even if worldwide efforts succeed at meeting global warming reduction targets.

The researchers used ice cores and fossil records from coral to show that there was a sea level rise of 6 to 9 meters around 125,000 years ago during a period marked by temperatures similar to those experienced today. They also noted a 6- to 13-meter rise in sea levels that occurred during a warm period 400,000 years ago that had a temperature average 1 degree Celsius above what it is today. And a 6-foot rise in global sea levels happened during a similar warm period 3 million years ago, scientists say.

The findings are significant, considering the United Nations goal is to limit temperature rise due to greenhouse gas emissions to 2 degrees Celsius, a change greater than that occurring during previous significant elevations in sea level. Notably, Antarctica is believed to have already exceeded a tipping point which will lead to a thaw that cannot be stopped, researchers say.

Top image: Scientists say sea levels could continue to rise even if current emissions targets are maintained. (Credit: JimChampion/CC BY-SA 3.0)

About Lori Balster

Growing up near a woods, Lori has always enjoyed the outdoors. Lori is a writer and consultant based in Dayton, Ohio. Lori has also worked at Wright-Patterson AFB as a research chemist.

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