Threat From Rising Sea Levels -
The Urgent Job To Do For Researchers By 2100

19 February, 2013

Share this story:
Follow us: - A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, highlights the vulnerability of low-lying populations throughout the tropics, including western Australia, Hawaii and the islands of the South Pacific.

'We are successful in defining the patterns, known as sea level fingerprints, which affect sea levels,' says Professor Giorgio Spada of Italy's University of Urbino, who led the study.

'This is paramount for assessing the risk due to inundation in low-lying, densely populated areas.'

It has long been known that sea levels change by different amounts in different places.

Threat from rising sea levels - Pacific archipelago of Kiribati. Photo: Reuters

But this research is the first to detail what those changes will look like as the oceans react to our changing climate.

The team, including two researchers from the Bristol University's glaciology centre, used computer models to investigate three key influences over the global pattern of sea-level rise.

At the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago, billions of tonnes of ice melted from Earth's polar regions, lifting an enormous weight from the rocks beneath. The Earth's surface has been slowly rebounding ever since, causing some regions to emerge from the sea while others subside.

The sheer mass of the remaining ice sheets gives them a strong gravitational pull, sucking in the seas around them like a giant plunger. As those ice sheets melt, the plunger will be released and the water redistributed around the globe.

As the oceans warm, they will also expand. Complex weather and climate patterns will mean that some areas will warm and expand more than others.

'The most vulnerable areas are those where the effects combine to give sea-level rise that is significantly higher than the global average,' says Spada.

'The total rise in some areas of the equatorial oceans worst affected by the terrestrial ice melting could be 60 centimetres if a mid-range sea-level rise is projected, and the warming of the oceans is also taken into account.'

Rising sea levels are threatening the very existence of countries like Nauru, a remote, eight-square-mile Pacific island near the equator. Photo credit: Arm Climate Research Facility

For Europe, it means that sea levels will continue to rise, but by slightly less than the global average.

According to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the effect of melting ice was the largest remaining source of uncertainty in predicting sea-level rise.

This work was part of the ice2sea project, led by the British Antarctic Survey's Professor David Vaughan, which is attempting to address that uncertainty.

'In the last couple of years, programmes like ice2sea have made great strides in predicting global average sea-level rise,' says Vaughan.

'The urgent job now is to understand how global sea-level rise will be shared out around the world's coastlines.'

'Only by doing this can we really help people understand the risks and prepare for the future.'

Scientific paper is published in Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2012GL053000


See also:
These Plants Sense The Danger - They Know How To Avoid Predators!

Follow for the latest news on Facebook and Twitter !

Don't Miss Our Stories! Get Our Daily Email Newsletter

Enter your email address:

Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be subscribed to the newsletter.

Recommend this article:

Astronomers Use The Z Machine To Create White Dwarfs In The Desert On Earth
Astronomers have discovered an exciting way to use the Z machine to create "star stuff" that can solve many astronomical mysteries. Scientists hope gained knowledge will shed more light on the archaeological history of...

Moths - Masters Of Disguise

Subscribe To Our Space, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth and Xenology News!

Grab the latest RSS feeds right to your reader, desktop or mobile phone.

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner


Copyright © All rights reserved.

Advertise With Us!


 Subscribe in a reader

Join Us On Facebook!

Other Popular Articles

Tractor Beams Of Light - No Longer Pure Science Fiction!
Science fiction meets real science! "Tractor beams" - fascinating invisible beams that can push and pull objects, leave science fiction domain. The concept of "tractor beam" used in science fiction films and books to haul spaceships and capture floating capsules gains scientific attention.

They Produce Water From The Air! An Amazing Invention For Those Who Really Need It!

"How can we help someone so powerful they can create water out of thin air?" an astonished Jabin yells in Star Trek's Caretaker. If you are a Star Trek fan you will remember how the Kazons try to aquire technology that can create water our of thin air. This technology is no longer in the realms of science fiction. Today we can really create water out of thin air!

Star Trek Tricorder - Now Available Online For Anyone To Build!

Imagine you can see what cannot be seen. Wouldn't you want to actually be able to see beyond the visible? The good news is that from now on it will be possible to see things we have previously only dreamt of. We certainly live in exciting times. More and more devices that have long been considered pure science fiction are now quickly becoming reality.

Do We Live In A Computer Simulation Created By An Advanced Alien Civilization?

The captivating idea that we might be living in 3 dimensional holographic simulation has been put forward by various scientists. We will explore this mind-boggling idea further and examine some intriguing questions. If we suspect that we are programmed beings living inside a simulation is there any way for us to find out if this is true? Is it possible to change the outcome of this virtual game? Who could have created this matrix and for what reason?

Spying On People Inside Building Through The Walls

Now, spying on people at home through the walls is easy. Also find out what's going on behind closed doors - it's nothing particularly difficult. They will even know whether you're sitting or standing!

Biometrics: Eye-Scanners Can Be Fooled

Iris scanning technologies allow people to use their eyes to prove their identify. S canning your iris has been considered a very good security tool, but now it turns out it is actually possible to fool eye-scanners!

European Physicists Break Quantum Teleportation Record!

Teleportation experiments represent a crucial step toward future quantum networks in space, which require space to ground quantum communication. A few weeks ago, the Chinese physicists achieved a great progress by teleporting more than 1100 photons over a distance of 97 kilometres in only four hours, but the teleportation competition still continues...

Incredible Crystal Star City Hovering In The Air - It Looks Just Like An Alien Invasion

Imagine it's late in the evening and you go out for a walk to get some fresh air. Suddenly when you look up to gaze at the night sky, you are stunned to see a huge, crystal star city hovering above your head. What is happening, you ask yourself as you watch the city that is home to thousands of individuals.

Levitating Ball Defies Gravity - Incredible Technology Of The Future

Acccording to recent survey, a huge active fault was found under Mount Fuji, standing at 3,776 meters (12,385 feet) above sea level. The dangerous fault can trigger a magnitude-7 earthquake, close to a volcano, changing the shape of the mountain and destroying nearby communities...

A Future Journey To High Heavens - A Vision Of Tomorrow's Reality

Once upon a time, the biblical patriarch Jacob had a dream of a ladder leading to heaven, and angels ascending and descending on it.
We, modern human, also have a dream to come closer to high heavens and the idea of a space elevator is not a new one...

Artificial Intelligence: Super-Turing Machine Imitates Human Brain
As computer scientists this year celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the mathematical genius Alan Turing, who set out the basis for digital computing in the 1930s to anticipate the electronic age, they still quest after a machine as adaptable and intelligent as the human brain.

A Milestone Towards Future Satellite-Based Quantum Teleportation Achieved But Race Still Continues!
Teleportation experiments represent a crucial step toward future quantum networks in space, which require space to ground quantum communication. Physicists achieved a great progress by teleporting more than 1100 photons...


Space-Time Crystal Computer That Can Outlive Even The Universe Itself!

World’s Thinnest Screen Created From A Soap Bubble

Brilliant Idea: Scientists Create Toilet Which Turns Poo Into Electricity

Most Important Innovations In The Next Five Years - From IBM

Visit The Most Extreme Soundless Place On Earth

Amazing Technology: Bio-Powered Lamp Absorbing CO2