Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Rising Seas

A major study by a group of 100 international scientists on climate change says that sea levels are likely to rise by as much as 1.4 metre — more than four feet — by the end of this century, twice as much as previously predicted in the fourth assessment report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. The IPCC’s 2007 report had predicted that sea levels could rise by 18 cm to 59 cm by 2099. But according to the new report released by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the West Antarctic glaciers are melting much faster than earlier believed. To quote SCAR executive director Colin Summerhayes, the West Antarctic glaciers ‘‘are shrinking at a rate fast enough to contribute to a sea level rise of 1.4 metre by 2100, but it will be no more than that’’. This means most areas in low-lying island nations, such as the Maldives, will go under sea by the end of this century. Coastal cities of India, especially Mumbai, Chennai and low-lying Kolkata, too face a grave threat because, as Summerhayes says, ‘‘anybody who lives in coastal cities needs to be slightly worried by projections of 1 metre or more’’. One hopes the Copenhagen conference on climate change would discuss the new SCAR study and moot strategies to  prevent the crucial glaciers from shrinking. The governments of the developed bloc have a special responsibility because they are the worst polluters. THE SENTINEL

No comments:

Search News and Articles

Custom Search