|National carbon-cutting pledges under the 2015 Paris treaty would, if honored, still see Earth warm 2.7C by 2100. If efforts to reign in greenhouse gases falter, temperatures could rise 4C or more above mid-19th century levels.Built-up areas in China, India, and Indonesia would also face devastation. (Photo by=AFP)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] PARIS: Researchers warned Tuesday (Oct 12) that seas will rise for centuries to come and swamp cities currently home to half a billion people even if humanity beats the odds and caps global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, AFP reported.
In a world that heats up another half-degree above that benchmark, an additional 200 million of today's urban dwellers would regularly find themselves knee-deep in seawater and more vulnerable to devastating storm surges, they reported in Environmental Research Letters. The worst-hit in any scenario will be Asia, which accounts for nine of the ten mega-cities at the highest risk. Researchers from Princeton University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany contributed to the study.
Most projections for sea-level rise and the threat it poses to shoreline cities run to the end of the century and range from half a meter to less than twice that, depending on how quickly carbon pollution is reduced. Today's concentration of CO2, which lingers for hundreds of years, is 50 percent higher than in 1800, and Earth's average surface temperature has already risen 1.1C. Unless engineers figure out how to quickly remove massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, that amount of sea-level rise is not a matter of "if" but "when", according to the study.