A dire forecast from a climate seer

A study by James Hansen and 16 colleagues
published in the peer-reviewed journal
Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry.

The study warns that humanity could confront “sea level rise of several meters” before the end of the century unless greenhouse gas emissions are slashed much faster than currently contemplated.  James Hansen, the former NASA scientist whose congressional testimony put global warming on the world’s agenda a quarter-century ago,

Ten feet of sea level rise is well beyond previous estimates.  It would render coastal cities such as New York, London, and Shanghai uninhabitable.  Parts of [our coastal cities] would still be sticking above the water but you couldn’t live there.

This apocalyptic scenario illustrates why the goal of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius is not the safe “guardrail” most politicians and media coverage imply it is. … On the contrary, a temperature rise of 2 C would be “highly dangerous.”

If Hansen is right—and he has been right, sooner, about the big issues in climate science longer than anyone—the implications are vast and profound.

Physically, Hansen’s findings mean that Earth’s ice is melting and its seas are rising much faster than expected. Other scientists have offered less extreme findings; the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has projected closer to 3 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century, an amount experts say will be difficult enough to cope with. (Three feet of sea level rise would put runways of all three New York City-area airports underwater unless protective barriers were erected. The same holds for airports in the San Francisco Bay Area.)

Climate author and journalist Mark Hertsgaard
The Daily Beast 20 July 2015

The world’s most famous climate scientist just outlined an alarming scenario for our planet’s future
Washington Post: 20 July 2015

Key Words: Sea rise
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