Sea Levels to Rise 13 Feet by Year 3000

And that's actually the best case scenario
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2011 7:34 AM CST
Climate change could result in a catastrophic rise in sea levels, according to a new study.   (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Stephen M. Katz)

(Newser) – Best case scenario: Even if we give up using all fossil fuels this very second and manage to stop all carbon dioxide emissions, the West Antarctic ice sheet is expected to collapse by the year 3000, causing sea levels to rise by at least 13 feet. The catastrophic prediction is from a new study published in the Nature Geoscience journal, the first study to look ahead at climate change consequences 1,000 years from now, the Daily Mail reports.

Scientists say the actual effects could be even worse, since their study looked at a zero-emission scenario. Their study found that, in such a scenario, the northern hemisphere made out better than the south—climate change patterns even reversed in places like Canada. But in addition to the ice sheet collapse, parts of north Africa dried out and became desert. One reason the southern hemisphere fared so poorly: Change occurs more slowly there, "and the inertia in intermediate and deep ocean currents driving into the southern Atlantic means those oceans are only now beginning to warm as a result of CO2 emissions from the last century,” says a researcher.

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