A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature reported that limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C would halve the rise in ocean levels associated with melting ice over the century.
Since 1993, ice melt has at least halved the sea level rise, and scientists have already warned that large tracts of ice in Antarctica are melting faster than worst-case scenarios predict.
Une cinquantaine de scientifiques ont combiné des simulations de la fonte des couvertures glaciaires de l’Antarctique et du Groenland – qui contiennent a eux seuls assez d’eau pour élever le niveau des océans de 65 mètres – ainsi que des simulations concern les 220 000 on the earth.
“Global ocean levels will continue to rise,” says lead author Tamsin Edwards of Kings College London. “But we can cut the contribution of melting ice in half if we limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to current commitments” from countries, which could lead to a rise in temperatures of about 3 degrees Celsius.
Thus, melting ice will cause the oceans to rise by 13 cm by 2100, compared to 25 cm according to current projections.
However, doubts remain about Antarctica.
“Greenland is very sensitive to changes in weather, so in a warmer world there will be more melting on the surface of the ice sheet,” explains Sophie Novicky, of NASA’s Goddard Flight Center and co-author of the study. “In Antarctica, the situation is very complex. A warmer world might mean more snowfall, but also more ice sheet melting.”