Only a week to go and the climate sceptics seem to be popping up everywhere, trying to undermine the Copenhagen conference.
But what they can’t stop is the damning new credible scientific evidence that is being produced. One such study is from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).
The SCAR study was undertaken by 100 of the world’s leading scientists from 35 leading research stations in eight countries.
It calculated that if temperatures continue to increase at the present rate, by 2100 the sea level would rise by up to 1.4 metres — twice that predicted two years ago by the IPCC.
SCAR said that the IPCC had grossly underestimated how much the melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets would contribute to total sea-level rises.
Dr Colin Summerhayes, Executive Director of SCAR said: “Anybody who lives in coastal cities needs to be slightly worried by a projections of one metre or more”.
A 1.4m rise would be catastrophic. It would result in about 10 per cent of the world’s population being forcibly displaced. Nations such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and Tuvalu in the Pacific would be underwater, coastal cities such as Calcutta and Dhaka would be devastated and London, Boston, New York and Shanghai would have to spend billions on flood defences. Venice would be in real trouble.
Even if the average global temperature increases by only 2C — the target set for next week’s Copenhagen summit — sea levels could still rise by 50cm, which would also be double previous forecasts.
“Once set in motion, sea-level rise is impossible to stop. The only chance we have to limit sea-level rise to manageable levels is to reduce emissions very quickly, early in this century. Later it will be too late to do much,” said Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who calculated the figure.
Hopefully the politicians will read the report and act.