13 June 2024
Sea Level Rise Predictions Need Improvement

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Sea level rise predictions could be improved by gaining a clearer understanding of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, according to a new study involving an international group of 29 ice sheet experts and led by the University of Lincoln, U.K.

Sea Level Rise Predictions: Delving Deeper into Ice Sheet Variability



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Introduction

Climate change is a significant global issue that has led to rising sea levels. Accurately predicting the extent of future sea level rise is crucial for preparing for its impacts. A recent study involving an international team of ice sheet experts has identified that gaining a better understanding of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is essential for improving sea level rise predictions.

Ice Sheets and Their Impact on Sea Level Rise

Ice sheets are vast stores of ice found in Antarctica and Greenland. They contain enough water to raise global sea levels by 65 meters if melted entirely. Previously, ice sheets were thought to be relatively stable and slow to respond to climate change. However, recent research has shown that they can respond quickly and unexpectedly to climate warming.

Short-Term Fluctuations and Extreme Events

Ice sheets are subject to short-term fluctuations and extreme events that can significantly impact sea level rise. These events include sudden heat waves, large storms, and extreme melt events. These events can cause rapid melting of ice sheets, leading to increased sea levels.

Feedback Effects and Sensitivity to Climate Change

The study highlights that short-term fluctuations in climate can have a “feedback” effect on ice sheets. This means that ice sheets are more sensitive to climate change than previously understood. As the climate warms, these short-term fluctuations can lead to increased melting and further contribute to sea level rise.

Call for Collaborative Research and Improved Monitoring

The study urges the scientific community to prioritize research efforts focused on understanding ice sheet variability. This includes improving climate and ocean monitoring systems, refining models, and ensuring that ice sheet models accurately represent observed changes. Collaboration among scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders is crucial for improving sea level rise projections and preparing for its impacts.

Conclusion

The study emphasizes the need for a better understanding of ice sheet variability to improve sea level rise predictions. Collaborative research efforts, improved monitoring systems, and refined models will help us better anticipate the impacts of climate change and pave the way for a more sustainable future.

FAQ’s

1. Why is accurately predicting sea level rise important?

Accurately predicting sea level rise is crucial for preparing for its impacts. It helps coastal communities, policymakers, and stakeholders make informed decisions to mitigate and adapt to the risks associated with rising sea levels.

2. What role do ice sheets play in sea level rise?

Ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland contain enough water to raise global sea levels by 65 meters if melted entirely. They are highly sensitive to climate change and can respond quickly to climate warming, contributing significantly to sea level rise.

3. What are short-term fluctuations and extreme events that affect ice sheets?

Ice sheets are subject to short-term fluctuations and extreme events such as sudden heat waves, large storms, and extreme melt events. These events can cause rapid melting of ice sheets, leading to increased sea levels.

4. How do short-term fluctuations in climate impact ice sheets?

Short-term fluctuations in climate can have a “feedback” effect on ice sheets. As the climate warms, these fluctuations can lead to increased melting and further contribute to sea level rise.

5. What is the call to action for the scientific community?

The study urges the scientific community to prioritize research efforts focused on understanding ice sheet variability. This includes improving climate and ocean monitoring systems, refining models, and ensuring that ice sheet models accurately represent observed changes. Collaboration among scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders is crucial for improving sea level rise projections and preparing for its impacts.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.lincoln.ac.uk 2. www.nasa.gov 3. www.ipcc.ch

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Antarctic ice sheet, Greenland ice sheet, Sea level rise

Antarctic ice sheet
The Antarctic ice sheet is a continental glacier covering 98% of the Antarctic continent, with an area of 14 million square kilometres (5.4 million square miles) and an average thickness of over 2 kilometres (1.2 mi). It is the largest of Earth's two current ice sheets, containing 26.5 million cubic...
Read more: Antarctic ice sheet

Greenland ice sheet
The Greenland ice sheet is an ice sheet which forms the second largest body of ice in the world. It is an average of 1.67 km (1.0 mi) thick, and almost 3.5 km (2.2 mi) at its thickest point. It is almost 2,900 kilometres (1,800 mi) long in a north–south...
Read more: Greenland ice sheet

Sea level rise
Between 1901 and 2018, average global sea level rose by 15–25 cm (6–10 in), an average of 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) per year. This rate accelerated to 4.62 mm (0.182 in)/yr for the decade 2013–2022. Climate change due to human activities is the main cause.: 5, 8  Between 1993 and 2018, thermal...
Read more: Sea level rise

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