PARIS — Warming in the Arctic occurring at twice the global average is on track to lift sea levels by up to 1.6 metres (5.3 feet) by 2100, a far steeper jump than predicted a few years ago, a consortium of scientists reported Tuesday.
Melting ice and snow has accounted for 40 percent of recent increases in ocean levels and are likely to play an even larger role in future, according to the Oslo-based Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Project (AMAP).
"Global sea level is projected to rise 0.9 to 1.6 metres (3.0 to 5.3 feet) by 2100, and the loss from Arctic glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland Ice Sheet will make a substantial contribution to this," AMAP said in a report.
The study identified eight of these so-called natural "feedback mechanisms" that have become both symptom and cause of climate change.Oceans could rise 1.6 metres by 2100: study
Rising average temperatures, for example, threaten to unlock long-frozen stores of carbon dioxide and methane -- at least 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2 -- from the region's permafrost.
"The amount of carbon that is locked up in permafrost is equivalent to what is in the atmosphere today," said Serreze. "The question is how much of it is going be released."
I toggle between hope and dispair!