General, Research, Technology

Sea level rise is a signal that climate change cannot be stopped. Is it true?

According to BBC News, this week 25 thousandpeople from 200 countries gathered in Madrid to find a solution to the problems associated with climate change. According to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the point of no return is no longer over the horizon. However, no matter how frightening this statement may seem, we can still avoid catastrophic consequences - for this it is necessary to drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. At least that is the goal of annual climate conferences. But there is a small problem: according to the results of our studies, we have already overcome one point of no return, which should encourage us to pay more attention to adaptation to climate change.

Sea level rise could rob millions of people at home

This is the third IPCC report, about which wetold you in September. The work is devoted to the study of the state of the seas and oceans, and the conclusions of scientists are disappointing - every year the water level rises faster. At the same time, if the water level rises by twenty meters, this will be enough to flood vast tracts of coastal territories, depriving hundreds of millions of people of their homes. Nevertheless, so far the rise in sea level has been relatively small, but since 1993 the situation has deteriorated significantly.

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Researchers note that we have not yet observedcatastrophic consequences of rising sea levels, as the climate is gradually responding to an increase in CO2. Moreover, catastrophic growth will occur over the centuries, not decades. And this is certainly good, since we have time to prepare. But there is a flip side to this somewhat encouraging picture: the climate will inevitably change. Already today the world is suffering from long periods of intense heat, intense storms and forest fires. And the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2019.

UN Climate Change Conference in Spain

What is happening with Greenland and the Arctic?

Climate change impacts Arcticmore than other regions, heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world. This was reported by researchers in a paper published in the journal Science Advances. The results showed that today's warming will lead to a faster reduction of Arctic sea ice than most models suggest. This, in turn, will negatively affect sea level rise. Moreover, scientists are concerned about the state of Greenland, which is rapidly losing its ice cover, which contributes to sea level rise. The work on the state of the Greenland ice sheet can be found in the journal Nature.

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Greenland is rapidly losing its ice cover

However, even though sea level risewill occur over a long period, if the necessary measures are not taken today, we will not be able to adapt to global warming. Some researchers do not hide their pessimistic mood and say that we have neither the time nor the resources to adapt, given the urgent need to mitigate future consequences. Recall that climate change already negatively affects the health status of millions of people and children around the world. In 2016 alone, extreme weather events made climate change refugees about 23.5 million people. And this does not include people who are forced to leave their homes as a result of drought, rising sea levels and the melting of permafrost.

The failure of world leaders to help peopleadapting to this kind of change would be terribly unfair. Let's hope that scientists and heads of state will be able to take all necessary measures.