Sea level rise over time is inundating wild areas that are today home to hundreds of millions of people.
The Greenland ice sheet is currently the largest cause of the swelling of the world’s oceans.
In the new study — published in Nature Climate Change — the glacier researchers state that regardless of future fossil emissions, current global warming will mean a significant rise in sea level.
The ice sheet would lose 3.3% of its volume and cause the average sea level to rise by 27.4 cm.
The researchers cannot give an exact time frame, but they estimate that most of the change will happen by 2100. This means that today’s forecasts have underestimated the risks of the next century.
Nor do the estimates in the study take into account continued warming in the future — or melting that is occurring in Antarctica, for example.
It’s a conservative minimum, Jason Books, lead author and researcher at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, tells AFP.
If future annual snowmelt is as high as the record year 2012, sea level could rise by as much as 78 centimeters, according to the study.
Measurements and notes
Instead of data models, the researchers used measurement data and observations from 2000 to 2019.
Jason Books told AFP that sea-level rise in the coming decades would “put its way on the agenda”.
– He will start displacing people more and more.