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April 17, 2013

New Study Finds Ways to Reverse Rising Sea Levels



A significant breakthrough in the reversal of one the biggest issues facing global warming – a new study reveals that it’s possible to slow down the rise of oceans waters by cutting short-lived climate pollutants that are causing the increase of sea levels. The new findings suggest the pollutants could cut sea level rise by roughly 25 to 50 percent by 2050.

Sea level rise can have catastrophic effects as it can potentially swamp coastal cities and cause devastation such as what happened following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Additionally, the adverse effect of rising oceans, reports the Sciencedaily.com, could impact some of the world’s major cities including New York, Miami, Amsterdam, Mumbai and Tokyo which are located in low-lying areas by the water. According to livescience.com, recent satellite measurements say that global sea levels are rising at an annual rate of 0.12 inches – that’s about 60 percent faster than a United Nations climate change panel suggested back in 2007.

“We still have some control over the amount of sea level rise that we are facing,” said Aixue Hu, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

A study released in the journal of Natural Climate Change, scientists found that reducing four pollutants (methane, tropospheric ozone, hydrofluoro carbons, and black carbon). These gases and particles according to Sciencedaily.com, can last anywhere from a week to a decade in the atmosphere, and they can influence climate more quickly than carbon dioxide, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries and these particular gases can greater influence the environment more rapidly than carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide though is still considered the most important factor in sea level rising but reducing these pollutants can still make a significant difference.

“To avoid potentially dangerous sea level rise, we could cut emissions of short-lived pollutants even if we cannot immediately cut carbon dioxide emissions,” added Hu. “This new research shows that society can significantly reduce the threat to coastal cities if it moves quickly on a handful of pollutants.”

To study the other emissions, researchers used two computer systems including the NCAR-based Community Climate System Model, to simulate climate, carbon and geochemistry interactions. They also calculated estimates of future emissions of greenhouse gases under a wide range of social and economic scenarios. The analysis discovered a large potential for the mitigation of sea level rise, assuming that society reduces emissions of the four gases and particles by 30 to 60 percent over the next several decades.

Science website redorbit.com reported to investigate the other emissions, researchers used the two computer systems, including the NCAR-based Community Climate System Model, to simulate climate, carbon and geochemistry interactions. The research found a large potential for the mitigation of sea level rise, assuming that society reduces emissions of the four gases and particles by 30 to 60 percent over the next several decades.




Edited by Rich Steeves

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