On climate change, the outlook only gets worse
A dire prediction on melting ice sheets and rising sea levelsBy William Yardley and Raoul Rañoa, Los Angeles Times
The predictions only get worse.
In 2007, a United Nations panel of scientists studying the rise of sea level related to climate change predicted that, if nothing was done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, seas could rise by about 2 feet by 2100. By 2013, the panel had increased its forecast to more than 3 feet, which would put major cities at risk of flooding and storm surge.
Yet all along, the panel emphasized what it did not know. It expressed particular uncertainty about what could happen to the ice sheet in Antarctica. To help fill in the gaps, it invited outside scientists to contribute their own research.
Now the outside research is bearing fruit — and the news is not good.
A new study published in the journal Nature painted perhaps the most ominous picture yet. It showed that, by the end of this century, sea levels could rise 6 feet or more — again, if nothing is done to reduce emissions — potentially inundating many coastal areas, submerging nations and remaking maps of the world.