Climate scientists are still worried about the amount of sea-level rise that we will see over the course of the next several years. A new study is giving historical context to the notion that the sea-level rise forthcoming in the next 50-100 years could be the likes of which has never been seen. The study, which was conducted by climate scientists from all over the U.S. found that the sea-level rise that we’re seeing now, matches the historical figures seen shortly before the massive rise that took place 125,000 years ago.
The study found that the current heights of our oceans reveals that they are 20-30 feet higher than they were at that time. However, the rise isn’t just a concern given the historical context. It is a concern based on what climate scientists have been suggesting for years. Study after study has shown exactly what could potentially happen if the course of climate change isn’t stopped or reversed.
Andrea Dutton of the University of Florida, who was involved in the study pointed out that the findings reveal important facts about our current Earth. She said, “This evidence leads us to conclude that the polar ice sheets are out of equilibrium with the present climate.” She went on to explain that, “As the planet warms, the poles warm even faster, raising important questions about how ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will respond.”
This has been the biggest concern all along. Climate scientists and researchers have bene working to figure out what damage this could have on the Earth as a whole, but more importantly how humans would be impacted by significant water-rise as this would study would suggest is coming. If the water level does rise globally at the rate, which has been described in this particular study – coastal cities all around the world – but more specifically here in the U.S. would be significantly impacted, altered, and potentially – wiped right off the map.
Government agencies of the U.S. are beginning to point out exactly what this could mean for programs like NASA, which is now looking at the potential of having coastal launch pads wiped out entirely. Dutton went on to point out that, “While this amount of sea-level rise will not happen overnight, it is sobering to realize how sensitive the polar ice sheets are to temperatures that we are on path to reach within decades.”
This is something important to keep in mind. While we’re not talking about something that will happen tomorrow, or even this year – it is something that will happen in the coming years, and no longer are we talking about something that is a century or more away. We’re talking about something that is a mere years or few decades away from happening. There is a lot that can happen in the meantime, but this is something that will have a profound impact on the overall outlook on the climate, politics, and preserving what the Earth currently has, if we want to continue being a part of a solution.