According to a new climate change study, sea levels will actually rise much quicker than previously thought and, basically, we’re all pretty f*cked.
The study – written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors – concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are now expected to melt 10 times faster than previous estimates.
That would result in sea level rise of at least 10 feet within the next 50 years.
Terrifyingly, that could mean that coastal cities such as New York may only be habitable for another few decades.
The problem is that melting glaciers create a “feedback loop” which only exacerbates the melting problem. Cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forces warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, which then speeds up the melting rate.
And, once that starts, we are completely powerless to stop it. And, bad news everyone, the consensus of Hansen and his team is that it has already started.
And, as far as the scientists are concerned, all this could mean the end of civilisation as we know it.
We conclude that continued high emissions will make multi-meter sea level rise practically unavoidable and likely to occur this century. Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating. It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.
It doesn’t exactly make for pleasant reading. Should we all start panicking now?