Saturday, March 25, 2006

Climate Data Hint at Irreversible Rise in Seas





By ANDREW C. REVKIN, New York Times



Within the next 100 years, the growing human influence on Earth's climate could lead to a long and irreversible rise in sea levels by eroding the planet's vast polar ice sheets, according to new observations and analysis by several teams of scientists.

One team, using computer models of climate and ice, found that by about 2100, average temperatures could be four degrees higher than today and that over the coming centuries, the oceans could rise 13 to 20 feet — conditions last seen 129,000 years ago, between the last two ice ages.

The findings, being reported today in the journal Science, are consistent with other recent studies of melting and erosion at the poles. Many experts say there are still uncertainties about timing, extent and causes.



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