This rise in sea level will have two immediate consequences in coastal areas: coastal erosion and flooding of inhabited areas.
The Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) published a study that claims that sea-level rise will continue to increase considerably as a result of climate change. Approximately half of that rise will come from melting glaciers.
"By the end of the 21st century, sea level is projected to be between 43 and 84 cm, depending on the greenhouse gas emissions scenario considered. Between 47 and 56 percent of this increase will come from glacier mass loss, either by melting or by increased rates of iceberg discharge," the UPM researcher Francisco Navarro explained.
This rise in sea level will have two immediate consequences in coastal areas: coastal erosion and flooding of inhabited areas, which will affect 680 million people. For this reason, one of the questions most studied by science is how much the sea level may rise and what factors will be the triggers.
In recent years, the sea level has risen by 3.6 mm/year. Around 1.4 mm/year of this amount would be related to the thermal expansion of the ocean and 1.8 mm/year to the loss of glaciers and ice sheets.
��️�� Mini-documentary: a bold trek atop a melting Greenland glacier.— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) April 11, 2021
The trip was challenging, but it was the only way scientists could collect the data they needed, essential to our understanding of how Greenland ice adds to sea level rise.
���� https://t.co/t2Ks2sq5Lf pic.twitter.com/AmUBnf5HUh
But not all glaciers contribute equally to this phenomenon. Currently, the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass faster than the Antarctic ice sheet, even though the latter stores ten times more ice than the former.
If the projections are extended to the year 2300, the projected cumulative sea-level rise by then is between 0.6 meters and 1.07 meters for the lower emissions scenario and 2.3 to 5.4 meters for the higher emissions scenarios.
Navarro recalls that sea-level rise is a reality that will have to be faced in the coming decades. The final result will depend on the actions agreed by the countries to reduce emissions and fight climate change.