World Sea Levels Could Rise over Five Feet by 2100

May 5, 2011

Quickening climate change in the Arctic including a thaw of Greenland’s ice could drive world sea levels by up to 1.6 meters (5 ft. 3 in.) by 2100, an international report said on Tuesday.

Such a rise — above most past scientific estimates — would add to threats to coasts from Bangladesh to Florida and cities from London to Shanghai. It would also, for instance, raise costs of building tsunami barriers in Japan.

“The past six years (until 2010) have been the warmest period ever recorded in the Arctic,” according to the report by the Oslo-based Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), which is supported by governments in the Arctic region.

“In the future, global sea level is projected to rise by 0.9 meters to 1.6 meters by 2100 and the loss of ice from Arctic glaciers, ice caps, and the Greenland Ice Sheet will make a substantial contribution,” it said.

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