Seas rising 60% faster than UN forecast: study

Sea levels are rising 60 percent faster than the UN's climate panel forecast in its most recent assessment, scientists reported on Wednesday.

At present, sea levels are increasing at an average 3.2 millimetres (0.125 inches) per year, a trio of specialists reported in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

This compares with a "best estimate" by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007, which projected that by today, the rise would be 2 mm (0.078 inches) per year.

The new figure converges with a widely-shared opinion that the world is heading for sea-level rise of around a metre (3.25 feet) by century's end, co-author Grant Foster of US firm Tempo Analytics told AFP.

"I would say that a metre of sea level rise by the end of the century is probably close to what you would find if you polled the people who know best," Foster said.

"In low-lying areas where you have massive numbers of people living within a metre of sea level, like Bangladesh, it means that the land that sustains their lives disappears, and you have hundreds of millions of climate refugees, and that can lead to resource wars and all kinds of conflicts," he added.

"For major coastal cities like New York, probably the principal effect would be what we saw in Hurricane Sandy.

"Every time you get a major storm, you get a storm surge, and that causes a major risk of flooding. For New York and New Jersey, three more feet of water would be even more devastating, as you can imagine."

The investigation, led by Stefan Rahmstorf of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), gauged the accuracy of computer simulations that the IPCC used in its landmark Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.

That report jolted governments into nailing climate change to the top of their agenda, culminating in the ill-fated Copenhagen Summit of 2009, and helped earn the Nobel Prize for the IPCC.

The new study gave high marks for the document's forecast on global temperature, saying there was a "very good agreement" with what was being observed today, an overall warming trend of 0.16 degrees Celsius (0.28 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade.

But it said the IPCC's projection for sea levels was much lower than what has turned out.

The panel's prediction for the future -- of a rise of up to 59 cms by 2100 -- "may also be biased low," it warned, a caution shared by other studies published in recent years.

Foster said the bigger-than-projected rise could be attributed to meltwater runoff from land ice, something that was a big unknown when the IPCC reported in 2007 and remains unclear today.

Other factors were technical uncertainty, he said.

The IPCC's projection had been based on information from 1993 to 2003, and there has been more data since then, helping to prove the accuracy of satellite radars that measure ocean levels by bouncing radar waves off the sea surface.

The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report will be published in three volumes, in September 2013, March 2014 and April 2014.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options