Model uncertainties reveal upcoming sea level risk

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Within this century already, due to Antarctica alone, global sea level might rise up to three times as much as it did in the last century. This is a finding of an exceptionally comprehensive comparison of state-of-the-art computer models from around the world.

“The ‘Antarctica Factor’ turns out to be the greatest risk, and also the greatest uncertainty, for sea-levels around the globe,” says lead-author Anders Levermann from the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Columbia University’s LDEO in New York. “While we saw about 19 centimeters of sea-level rise in the past 100 years, Antarctic ice-loss could lead to up to 58 centimeter within this century. Coastal planning cannot merely rely on the best guess. It requires a risk analysis. Our study provides exactly that: The sea level contribution of Antarctica is very likely not…

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