Rapidly increasing rates of Antarctic and Greenland ice melting could see the world’s oceans rise by double the current projects to two metres by the end of the century, according to a new report released by the University of Bristol.
Using a technique called structured expert judgment (SEJ), a team of international experts were surveyed to estimate the plausible range of sea level rise due to the projected melting of the Greenland, West Antarctic and east Antarctic ice sheets under low and high future global temperature rise scenarios.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the findings present a grim projection of the rapidly increasing rate of sea level rises.
Lead author, Professor Jonathan Bamber, said that the methodology used provides a unique insight into the future of sea level rises and the threat it poses to the environment and the continuation of human civilisation.
“Projections of total global SLR using this method yielded a small but meaningful probability of SLR exceeding two metres by the year 2100 under the high temperature scenario, roughly equivalent to ‘business as usual’, well above the ‘likely’ upper limit presented in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” Professor Bamber said.
The release of the report comes less than a week after new research emerged showing the exponential increase in the rate of melting of the West Antarctic ice shelf, which has recorded as much as a 25 metre loss in ice volume in certain areas.