Environment

The Drowned World

The world is already 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than before the Industrial Revolution.

Climate Interactive, a research outfit, reckons that if greenhouse emissions continue on their present course, temperatures could rise by 8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, and that would bring up the sea level by more than three feet by the century’s end.

Worse, if we burned all the world’s deposits of coal, oil, and natural gas, the temperature would go up enough to melt the entire ice sheet covering Antarctica, driving the level of the sea up by more than 160 feet, according to a paper, published in Science Advances.

Ice on other landmasses would melt along with Antarctica, and warming ocean waters would expand, so that the total rise of the sea would likely exceed 200 feet.

A sea level rise of 200 feet would put almost all of Florida, much of Louisiana and Texas, the entire East Coast of the United States, large parts of Britain, much of the European Plain, and huge parts of coastal Asia under water. The cities lost would include Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Washington, New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Paris, Berlin, Venice, Buenos Aires, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Rome, and Tokyo.

Half the melting would take place in less than 1,000 years.

Paleoclimatologists have established that Antarctica was once a lush, green continent, icing over only in the past 35 million years, amid a general cooling of the world’s climate. Also, sea levels far higher than today, have occurred in the past, but that was much before the dawn of human civilization.

h/t: THE ECONOMIST and NYT

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