According to the journal posted on Science Magazine, the last time this planet witnessed the temperature similar to, or this high, resulted in the rise of sea level to 20 feet. The study has also pointed that the current trending of global warming continues, similar incident will occur across the globe. This phenomenon will cost US 48,000 square miles of coastal land, where around 23.4 million Americans live.
Scientists analyzed about 30 years of research data related to the historic effects of polar ice glaciers’ melting. This won’t be the first time earth witnessing the incident, the researchers have also mentioned that global sea levels have risen about 20 feet above the current levels many times over past 3 million years.
Earlier, the global sea rise was caused by the amount of polar ice melting after only one-two degrees Celsius increase in global mean temperatures. This would be the most concerned thing as the world is trying to achieve to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius under the current climate negotiations. The study shows that even if we managed to limit the global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the planet Earth will be witnessing the sea rise of at least 20 feet above the current levels.
The study was led by Andrea Dutton from University of Florida, who said that melting of ice glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland caused the sea rose. According to her, the world will be seeing the similar outcome unless a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions takes place. Dutton said in a statement:
“As the planet warms, the poles warm even faster, raising important questions about how ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will respond. 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 the path to reach within decades.”
However, the research also concludes by revealing the time when the planet Earth witnessed the rise in global sea level – 125,000 years ago. During that time, the global average temperature was 1 degree Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, which is similar to today’s average. Sea level peaked at around 20-40 feet 400,000 years ago, according to the research report.
“We’re going to reach temperatures we had in the past periods in the next couple of decades,” Dutton told The Guardian. “Understanding which are the most vulnerable sectors of polar ice sheets is critical to projecting the future pattern of sea level rise regionally.”