“The good news is that sea levels will continue to rise slowly, so that we have time to adjust, but the bad news is that all coastal cities will be flooded now,” Professor Andrew Watson, a scientist climate study work at the University of Exeter, said.
According to results of the latest research, the frozen continent as Greenland and Antarctica are very sensitive to temperature rise of the oceans. The temperature of the sea surface is now very similar to the last interglacial period, when sea levels rise from 6 to 9 meters above the current high at the time.
Previous studies indicate that the sea level has risen several meters in the interglacial period, between 129,000 to 116,000 from the previous year, but to date picture of the change in temperature of the sea during that period remain still patchy.
Sea levels are related intimately to global temperatures, both through the melting of the glaciers and the rise of the water as the temperature warms up.
The study results are based on the recognition of sediment cores in 83 locations. “This tells us that the big ice is heating up, even a little. It’s really powerful message, “climate scientist Rob DeConto from University of Massachusetts, Amherst city, said.
During the interglacial period, warming the Earth’s climate due to changes in the tilt of the Earth, leading to average temperatures 2 degrees Celsius warmer than today.
Scientists see this period as an important reference on how the oceans and the atmosphere of the Earth can be compatible with the current warming trend in the future.
The study was published in Science Magazine names, comparing the locations recorded from 83 sediment cores from 1870 to 1889 (the time before the Industrial Revolution), and from 1995 to 2014.
Recognition of both surface temperature and sea level are based on the sediment. These plankton for food on the sea surface as a natural thermometer when the ratio of magnesium in the calcium buildup in their shell depends on the water temperature.
Some other species of plankton serves as a gauge for the level of ice on the frozen continent. The ratio of two different isotopes of oxygen (o16 and O18) is different in the glaciers on the continent and on the sea, so by tracking the ratio of plankton, the scientists can know how much ice at a given time.
Sea level is closely related to global temperature, both through the melting of the glaciers and through increasing the amount of water when the temperature warms up.
However, this process occurs slowly, so sea level rise can only see clearly after hundreds or thousands of years in the future.
According to Jeremy Hoffman, a climate scientist at the Science Museum of Virginia, lead author of the study, an important thing is not clear that the rate of ice will melt in the future, and these latest findings do not have a direct influence on this.
During the interglacial period, warming occurred in more than 10,000 years, meaning that the changes in the global ice sheets will take place in parallel.
The current warming trend has occurred for decades, and it clearly shows how much ice will melt. The UN estimates the global sea level will rise between 13 cm to 68 cm by 2050, and a study by the group last year DeConto predict that sea levels will rise 2 meters by the end of this century.
“The percentage loss of ice is actually very difficult to predict. Estimates from 200 to 7,000 years, “Louise Sime, head of research at the station paleo environmental British Antarctic Survey, said.