Nov 22, 2016

Coastal sea level rise with warming above 2 °C

Svetlana Jevrejeva, Luke P. Jackson, Riccardo E. M. Riva, Aslak Grinsted, John C. Moore
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • States that two degrees of global warming above the preindustrial level is widely suggested as an appropriate threshold beyond which climate change risks become unacceptably high
  • States that this “2 °C” threshold is likely to be reached between 2040 and 2050 for both Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 and 4.5
  • Asserts that resulting sea level rises will not be globally uniform, due to ocean dynamical processes and changes in gravity associated with water mass redistribution
  • Provides probabilistic sea level rise projections for the global coastline with warming above the 2 °C goal
  • Finds that by that by 2040, with a 2 °C warming under the RCP8.5 scenario, more than 90% of coastal areas will experience sea level rise exceeding the global estimate of 0.2 m
  • Finds that with a 5 °C rise by 2100, sea level will rise rapidly and 80% of the coastline will exceed the global sea level rise at the 95th percentile upper limit of 1.8 m
  • Concludes that the coastal communities of rapidly expanding cities in the developing world will have a very limited time after midcentury to adapt to sea level rises unprecedented since the dawn of the Bronze Age