The findings of a new study have warned that human efforts will not be enough to prevent the sea level rise by 20 feet around the globe. The study was conducted by University of Florida researchers to predict the extent to which sea levels are likely to rise due to global warming and other climate change.
The researchers analyzed the past geological history of earth, finding that sea levels rose by around 20 feet when temperatures reached near or went above modern day global averages. The researchers chose a low-lying state area for the study as it was believed to be most affected by rising sea levels.
The process for sea level rise examined by the researchers took place in climates just 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than our modern age. Melting ice reservoirs in Greenland and on Antarctica contributed the most to this rise in sea level, said the researchers.
The researchers expressed worries over likelihood of the same effect in our modern age. “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 path to reach within decades”, said Andrea Dutton, a geochemist with the University of Florida.
A meeting will be hosted at the end of 2015 in Paris where nations world over will collectively decide actions required to limit the rise of global temperatures by the end of the century.
Further studies will help determine how melting of ice sheets near the poles happened during historic periods of warming.