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Nearing the doomsday: Rising sea levels drowning metropolitan cities of the world

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New Delhi: According to a report recently published which looks toward the ice sheets of Antarctica, the alarming rise in the sea levels can be responsible for the drowning of major coastal cities.

The study suggests the aftermath can manifest into an increase of a three feat rise in the sea levels by the end of this century. Though it is reported that the low-lying cites as New York and Hong Kong will be at the downside, the authors are most concerned about metropolises like that of Boston, which are vulnerable to face an over five feet extension of the sea levels at the close of the coming century.

The Climate Change Summit, which has held last year in Paris, had the prominent leaders of the world pledging to cut the carbon greenhouse gas emissions and keeping the surge of global warming under the mark of 2 degrees Celsius.

Unfortunately, Pollard and DeConte in their report write that upon the evaluation of the data, it can be said that the final conclusions are overriding the predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And apparently, those were considered, till recently as the worst-case scenario affecting our planet.

By 2100, there can be a rise of about two meters upon melting of ice in the poles. Pollard, opines that the probable effects to follow this will be something like the hazardous form of Hurricane Sandy, one which will have the potential to contribute to future flood losses.

Both Pollard and DeCante says that the rise in the sea levels will be accounting to an estimate of nearly 50 meters in Antarctica alone, and all of these will be taking place by 2500. While the latter is of the opinion, as given in an interview, that the global warming will be trapping the coastal cities and the defense mechanisms will be proven to be ineffective then.

Still, the calling of the doomsday can be countered, as stated by DeConte by curtailing the dangerous emissions and keeping the Antarctica, well frozen.

(Inputs from huffingtonpost.com)

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Climate Change’s Fight Harder Than Thought: Study

This new research suggests that accomplishing that goal requires countries to pull 25 percent more carbon out of the atmosphere than they've already committed to cleaning up.

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Oceans
People walk on the beach of Biarritz, southwestern France, along the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 18, 2015. New research shows the oceans are storing much more heat than previously thought. VOA

A new report recently published in the journal Nature suggests the Earth’s oceans are absorbing more of the planet’s excess heat than previously thought.

Scientists have known for some time that oceans store excess heat energy, and this helps keep the planet in its balmy, just-right temperature for supporting the explosion of life on Earth.

Knowing how hot the ocean is getting, and how fast that temperature is rising, helps scientists understand more about human-impacted climate change. It helps them know how much excess energy is being produced, and it helps them predict how much heat the ocean is capable of absorbing and how much warming will be felt on the Earth’s surface.

Oceans, boats
Lobster boats are moored in the harbor in Stonington, Maine. VOA

Up until the report was issued this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) thought it had a pretty good handle on how much excess energy the oceans were absorbing. Using those numbers, the panel set targets for the amount of carbon reduction necessary to slow, and ultimately reverse, potentially devastating planetary warming.

But these new numbers suggest those targets may have to be revised upward by 25 percent. Research by the study’s lead author, Princeton professor Laure Resplandy, indicates our oceans are absorbing about 60 percent more heat energy than previously estimated.

According to Resplandy, the world’s oceans have taken up more than 13 zettajoules of energy every year between 1991 and 2016. A joule is the standard unit of energy; a zettajoule is one joule, followed by 21 zeroes.

Oceans, arctic
FILE – A young polar bear walks on ice over deep waters of the Arctic Ocean. VOA

“Imagine if the ocean was only 30 feet deep,” Resplandy said. “Our data show that it would have warmed by 6.5 degrees Celsius every decade since 1991. In comparison, the estimate of the last IPCC assessment report would correspond to a warming of only 4 degrees Celsius every decade.”

How they got the new numbers

It’s not that the old numbers were wrong; it’s that the new numbers relied on new techniques and new ways to measure ocean warming. The old techniques used spot measurements of ocean temperature. But Resplandy and her team measured the amount of oxygen and carbon in the air, a number they call “Atmospheric Oxygen Potential (APO).” As oceans warm, they release oxygen and carbon into the atmosphere, which increases APO.

Another factor that raises APO is the burning of fossil fuels. Resplandy and her team compared the expected rise in APO due to the burning of fossil fuels, and compared it to the actual APO they were seeing. By looking at the difference, the team was able to predict how much carbon and oxygen were being released by the oceans and, therefore, how warm the world’s oceans were getting.

climate, global warming, celsisu, oceansac
A fisherman stands on his boat as he fishes at the Tisma lagoon wetland park, also designated as Ramsar Site 1141 in the Convention on Wetlands, in Tisma, Nicaragua. VOA

Why the new numbers matter

A host of countries, including the U.S. and China, signed the Paris Climate Accord in 2015, which aims to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Many climate scientists predict that if temperatures go above that mark, humans will be faced with devastating long-term global affects. Keeping those temperatures down requires cutting the amount of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere.

Also Read: New Carbon Capture Technology Now Able To Fight Climate Change: Experts

The U.S. has since pulled out of that climate agreement, but most of the rest of the world remains focused on limiting the rise of the world’s average temperatures.

This new research suggests that accomplishing that goal requires countries to pull 25 percent more carbon out of the atmosphere than they’ve already committed to cleaning up. (VOA)