German scientists have estimated that sea levels around the world will rise a meter (100cm) by the end of the century.
That is much higher than previous estimates by IPCC’s Climate Change 2007 report which had projected a rise of between 18cm to 59cm depending on the temperature change.
The new research was carried out by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Research on Global Warming Effects, and Jochem Marotzke, Director of The Ocean in the Earth System at the Planck Institute for Meteorology.
Schnellnhuber said the new findings employed data unavailable to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its report.
The IPCC report, also known as the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report, had provided scenarios for temperature changes ranging between 0.3 degrees and 6.4 degrees Celcius.
Schnellnhuber said it is “just barely possible” that world governments will be able to limit the rise in average global temperatures to just 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, if they all strictly adhere to severe limits in carbon dioxide emissions.
The researchers also said that IPCC’s report had been based on data up to 2005, but since then ice loss in the Arctic had doubled or even tripled.
Schnellnhuber’s and Marotzke’s findings are based on studies of melting Himalaya glaciers and the shrinking Greenland ice cap.
Air Polution Is Not Helping
According to Schnellnhuber, 20 percent of the loss of ice sheet on Greenland could be linked to new Chinese coal-fired power stations. Soot particles settle on the ice, preventing the ice from reflecting as much sunlight back into space. The result is that the ice absorbs sunlight rays, raising the temperature of the ice and causing it to melt.
Schnellnhuber said ”Air pollution plays a massive role in the accelerating pace of climate change”.