Global warming: the modeling of the rise in sea level that worries


Three weeks before the opening of COP26 in Glasgow, during which countries around the world will try to keep global warming at 1.5 ° C, the Climate Central organization, which brings together scientists and journalists, released models on Tuesday, October 12, showing what fate will be reserved for coastal cities, from Bordeaux to New York, depending on whether the current rate of pollution continues, or whether the latter is subject to a drastic reduction.

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Either way, even if humanity manages to limit warming to 1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era, sea levels will rise for centuries, inundating cities currently inhabited by half a billion people, scientists warned Tuesday.

If the planet heats up by half a degree more, 200 million additional city dwellers will be regularly affected by floods and made more vulnerable during storms, they wrote in the journal “Environmental Research Letters”.

Asia will be the hardest hit

Asia, which has nine of the ten highest-risk mega-cities, will be the hardest hit. Most current estimates of sea level rise and the threats it poses to coastal cities run to the turn of the century and range from half a meter to less than a meter.

But the phenomenon will continue beyond 2100 under the effect of warming water and melting ice, regardless of the speed of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

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“About 5% of the world’s population currently lives on land below the level that will be reached at high tide due to the effect of carbon dioxide already accumulated in the atmosphere by human activity”, says lead author of the article Ben Strauss, president and chief scientist at Climate Central.

“Betray” the next generations?

The current concentration of CO2 is 50% higher than that of 1800 and the average temperature on the Earth’s surface has increased by 1.1 ° C.

That’s enough to raise sea levels by nearly two meters, whether it takes two centuries or ten centuries, says Ben Strauss.

Without radical and immediate measures, it will be impossible to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C.

The 1.5 ° C limit enshrined in the Paris Agreement and which countries around the world will try to maintain at the COP26 summit in Glasgow next month results in sea levels rising almost three meters in the long term. .

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“In Glasgow and until the end of this decade we have the possibility either to help the next hundred generations, or to betray them”, said Ben Strauss.



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