The sea water’s level will dramatically increase in the following years and may deem life in coastal cities as uninhabitable, warns Dr James Hansen, one of NASA’s former leading scientists and long-time environmental activist. He believes that the accelerated rate at which ice sheets melt would prove to be catastrophic.
Hansen has led NASA’s Goddard Institute for 32 years. The organization’s aim is to track climate changes across the entire planet, especially those changes that could affect our world’s habitability. He left the institute two years ago in order to take a more active approach as a climate activist.
He and 16 other climate change experts wrote a new paper today which raises some alarming issues. The study claims that within the next 50 years the world’s sea levels will raise by more than teen feet. This could spell the doom for many coastal areas and islands.
Their expectations are based upon theory that the land based ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will melt significantly faster than previously expected. The already melting ice would supposedly affect the underwater currents in such a way that warmer water would be directed underneath the ice sheets. This would create a self-sustaining circle that will results in enormous quantities of water to be released into the World Ocean.
They also claim that average world temperatures of just one degree Celsius higher would lead to the creation of devastating storms. The research goes on to warn that the impact of these changes on human life are hard to predict, but they would most assuredly be disastrous.
The paper is clearly meant as a warning for our world’s leaders. It warns that the current plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will not be nearly enough to prevent any of these problems from happening. This claim is in line with French President François Hollande’s opening speech for the climate talks in Paris earlier today.
The President also warned that in order to actually stop global warning, all countries need to be ready to massively cut down their overall CO2 emissions. Hansen’s research might be exactly the warning officials need in order to take decisive measure during the U.N. climate summit this December.
The research has yet to be peer-reviewed, though this will happen later this week. The scenarios it presents are frightening regardless, but hopefully we will never have to actually witness them if the future summit is successful.