Professor Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey, has warned that sea-level rise is increasing much faster than scientists predicted just five years ago. This is severely threatening many of the world’s coastal and low-lying areas from Bangladesh to Nigeria.

The present prediction of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, from its third assessment report in 2001, is that global sea levels will rise by between 9cm and 88cm by 2100, depending on a number of factors including how far emissions are controlled, with a best guess of about 50cm over the century.

Rises of this order will present a substantial threat of flooding, storm surge and even complete submersion of many of the world’s populous low-lying areas,such as Bangladesh, the Nile Delta and even London.

But the new evidence, from a series of scientific papers published this year, indicates that this rate would be far exceeded, although Rapley could not say what any new rate would be. “We have learned in the last 18 months that the ice sheets are capable in selected areas of much more rapid changes and dynamic discharges than we previously thought,” he said.

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  • I hope that this is a wakeup call. Nasa Senior Scientists James Hansen reported that melting in Greenland has doubled in just the last 5 years. I have heard credible reports of possible sea level rises of 20 feet this century from scientists. During the interglacial period, carbon dioxide levels did not get above 280 ppm (during the glacial periods, they were at 180 ppm).

    We are now at 381 ppm and increasing at 2.6 ppm per year Carbon Dioxide. We are initiating massive change on the very life support system that keeps us a millions of other species alive.

    The beauty about solving the climate change crisis is that it solves so many other problems, and creates such a nicer, cleaner world. As we stop mining and burning coal, and stop drilling for and burning oil, we stop all of this massive, horrific destruction now being wreaked upon our planet. And we stop so much pollution that makes fish to poisonous to eat, the air unsafe to breathe and the water and land toxic.

    Through solar panels on our rooftops and vast windfarms throughout America, along with use of ecological biofuels, we can both solve the climate change crisis and make us energy independent, while reducing or eliminating urban smog and so much other pollution

    Chad Kister
    Author, Arctic Melting and Arctic Quest

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