“IF WE don’t stop dumping our waste CO2 into the sky, land that is now home to more than a billion people will one day be underwater,” said the lead author of a new study. According to modeling published in Science Advances, burning the planet’s remaining fossil fuel resources would melt much of Antarctica’s ice cover leading to a 50 to 60 metre rise in sea level. This would put many highly populated urban areas under water. Because carbon persists in the atmosphere for millennia after it is released, the modelling looked at the ice sheet’s evolution over the next 10,000 years. If carbon emissions continue at current levels, sea level rise over the next 1000 years will be about 30mm a year leading to 30m of sea level rise by the end of this millennium. If global warming did not exceed the 2 degree Celsius target cited by climate policymakers, Antarctic melting would cause sea levels to rise only a few metres.
Dieter Moeckel Wonbah