Rising sea level estimates require collaborative response, experts say

ocean
Credit: Tiago Fioreze / Wikipedia

Policymakers and scientists must act quickly and collaboratively to help coastal areas better prepare for rising sea levels globally, say climate change experts from Princeton and Penn State universities.

Their analysis will appear Friday, Dec. 16, in the journal Science.

Recent estimates suggest that global mean could exceed two meters by 2100. These projections are higher than previous estimates and are based on the latest understanding of how the Antarctic ice sheet has behaved in the past and how sensitive it is to future . The projections pose a challenge for scientists and policymakers alike, requiring far-reaching decisions about coastal policies to be made based on rapidly evolving projections with large, persistent uncertainties.

"An effective approach to managing coastal risk should couple research priorities to policy needs, enabling judicious decision-making while focusing research on a few key questions," write co-authors Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, and Richard Alley, a professor of geosciences at Penn State.

The researchers say scientific developments are emerging too fast to be captured by the Intergovernmental Panelon Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. "Policy-makers are left without a means to contextualize recent estimates, which remain highly uncertain," the authors write. "But ignoring such estimates could prove disastrous."

They say waiting another few decades to decide on specific adaptations in the hope that scientific predictions will become firmer may put completion off until the last quarter of this century. At that time, actual sea level rise could be approaching two meters, with a much larger rise still to come.

"Scientists can contribute to improving the basis for policy judgments by presenting policy-makers with projections that are as fully probabilistic as possible while also characterizing deep uncertainties, rather than just handing the worst-case or most-likely estimates," write Oppenheimer and Alley. "Coastal protection is a risk management issue, and risks cannot be fully managed outside a probabilistic context."


Explore further

New tool puts a consistent value on experts' uncertainty on climate change models

More information: "How high will the seas rise?," Science science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi … 1126/science.aak9460
Journal information: Science

Citation: Rising sea level estimates require collaborative response, experts say (2016, December 15) retrieved 17 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-sea-require-collaborative-response-experts.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
91 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Dec 16, 2016
Recent estimates suggest that global mean sea level rise could exceed two meters by 2100.

Hmmm...the most current sea level measurements from satellites suggest a sea level rise of about 0.29 meters (11 inches) by 2100. (3.4 mm x 84 years = 0.286 meters) That's 1/7th of the 2 meters fantasized by alarmists.

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

Sea level measurements from tide gauges suggest an even smaller rise, only about 0.13 meters (6 inches). The tide gauge record extends back to the late 1800's.

http://climate.na...a-level/

Both records show no acceleration of sea level rise. There will have to be a dramatic acceleration of sea level rise in the next 84 years to reach 2 meters by 2100 but there is no evidence of it in the measurements.

Must be those crazy computer model predictions again. They haven't been anywhere close to accurate but they are the foundation for all the disastrous claims about climate change.

Dec 16, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Dec 16, 2016
Why do some folk assume they are more correct than the professionals?

Dec 16, 2016
Why do some folk assume they are more correct than the professionals?
Why does george kamburoff assume that people will ignore the nonsense he makes up just because he lets everybody knows his real name (and address, and family members, and SS#, and his VA treatment for mental illness, and his drug habit and etc)

Dec 16, 2016
The Pathological lies of the AGW Cult and their Pathological "Science", but what is a desperate cult to do when reality defies their incessant desire for doom and gloom.

Dec 16, 2016
What is it like to be so fixated on someone? Is it like Hinckley and Reagan?

What are the dreams like? Do you try and try and try to get even, but always fall short, like in real life?

Look at the last several posts by you, completely infatuated with and fixated on a real person, one with the guts to take responsibility for his words, unlike you. Your posts of "psychopathy" are embarrassingly-evident cries for help, and it is demonstrated by your emotional instability.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more