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Experts warn of sea level rise - 16th December

Sea Level Rise

It could prove 'disastrous' to ignore sea level rise forecasts made by climate scientists.  This is the warning from two leading US scientists regarding climate models that predict sea levels could rise by an average of more than 2 metres by 2100.

Professor Michael Oppenheimer and Professor Richard Alley also warn that flood defences could take decades to build so it is important to prepare.

Improvements to climate modelling techniques have seen predictions of more significant sea level rise than previously thought.  The professors said: "waiting another few decades to decide on specific adaptations in the hope that scientific predictions will become firmer may put completion off until the last quarter of this century.  At that time, actual sea level rise could be approaching two metres, with a much larger rise still to come".

Despite it being stressed that sea level rise predicitions involved 'deep uncertainties', research into past warming events suggests sea levels would eventually rise further than 2 metres, should the current rate of warming continue.

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