If global temperatures on our planet continue to go up, ferocious super-storms could become more frequent and sea levels could rise several meters over the next century, drowning coastal cities along the way.
That’s the ominous warning put forth in a new, peer-reviewed paper penned by former top NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen and 18 co-authors, which was published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics on Tuesday. The paper builds from controversial research released last year before the study was peer reviewed, a process that gives other scientists an opportunity to critique the work.
The research raised eyebrows not only because it was released in draft form, but also because it suggests that current climate models — including forecasts made by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — underestimate the effects of ice melt runoff from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. For instance, the IPCC previously warned of only 3 feet (about one meter) of sea level rise by 2100.
“Greenland and Antarctica are beginning to melt because of global warming,” Hansen, an adjunct professor in Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, says in a new video (above) about the paper. “So far it is just a tiny, tiny fraction of the ice sheets that has melted. However, this fresh meltwater spilling out onto the North Atlantic and into the Southern Ocean already is having important effects.” Read more >>