Another warning on rising sea levels
WASHINGTON—Drip, drip, drip come the studies one after another, reinforcing the threat from rising sea levels along the U.S. and Canadian east coasts.
If Greenland’s ice melts at moderate to high rates, ocean circulation by 2100 could shift and cause sea levels off the northeast coast of North America to rise by about 30-50 cm more than other coastal areas, researchers reported yesterday in “Geophysical Research Letters.”
The report comes on the heels of two other studies with similar warnings.
Just over a week ago, scientists at Britain’s University of Bristol reported that while collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would not raise global sea levels as much as previously had been feared, the maximum increase is expected along the east and west coasts of the United States.
And back in March, researchers at the University of Maryland warned that, however much the oceans rise by the end of the century, add an extra 20 cm or so for New York, Boston, and other spots along the coast from the mid-Atlantic to New England because of predicted changes in ocean currents.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 projected that sea levels worldwide could rise by an average of 17-58 cm this century.
“The oceans will not rise uniformly as the world warms,” NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl, a co-author of the new paper, said in a statement.
“Ocean dynamics will push water in certain directions, so some locations will experience sea level rise that is larger than the global average.”
In recent years, the melting of the Greenland ice cap has been increasing at a rate of about seven percent per year.