The giant ice caps contain enough frozen water to raise the ocean 65 meters, and
Experts from more than three dozenresearch institutes have used ocean temperature and salinity data to create several computer models simulating the potential ice loss in Greenland and Antarctic glaciers. They tracked two climate scenarios: one in which humankind continues to pollute the environment at current levels, and another in which carbon emissions plummet by the year 2100.
They found that under the high emissions scenario, the loss of ice in Antarctica would lead to a sea level rise of 30 cm by the end of the century, and the melting of Greenland would add another 9 cm.
Such an increase will have devastatingimpacts around the world, increasing the destructive power of storm surges and exposing coastal areas where hundreds of millions of people live to repeated and severe flooding.
Even in the lower emission scenario, the Greenland sheet will raise ocean levels by about 3 cm by 2100.
ISMIP6 means sea level rise forecasts to2100 due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The shaded red area is the projection of the pessimistic scenario, and the shaded area in blue is the projection of the optimistic scenario. Credit: Heiko Geltser et al., Cryosphere , September 17, 2020
Until the beginning of the 21st century, the ice sheets of the WesternAntarctica and Greenland usually accumulated as much mass as they lost. In other words, the runoff was offset by fresh snowfall. But over the past two decades, the increasing rate of global warming has upset that balance.
In a study published earlier this month in Nature Climate Change magazine, scientists predicted a maximum sea level rise of 40 cm by 2100. Authors of the study, published Thursday in a special issue of the journal "Cryosphere, Said it highlights the role of emissions in rising sea levels this century.
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