On the basis that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, 22 experts on the great ice sheets concluded that sea levels could rise by more than 2 m by 2100. If this happened the homes of almost 200 million people worldwide would be flooded.
In Britain, it could lead to the loss of 1,790,000 km² of land, which would include large areas of Northumberland, parts of London and Norfolk.
We are told that average sea levels have been rising by about 3 mm a year over the previous few decades.
The study regarding rises in sea levels is based upon the projected melting of Greenland, West Antarctic and East Antarctic ice sheets.
They suggested that there is a 5% chance of a rise of more than 2 m by 2100. This might happen if the global average temperature rose by 5°C above the preindustrial level by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise as projected.
The study authors are based at the University of Bristol and Princeton University in the US. The lead author is Prof Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol. The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy Of Sciences. He said that the findings mean that coastal communities should consider their options such as relocating or building better defences.
Relevance: I’ve selected this because it is relevant to the human/animal relationship indirectly because what effects humans also affects animals both companion and wild. Loss of homes means loss of homes for domestic cats and dogs and losing 1,790,000 km² of land means loss of habitat for wildlife. It is another example of the destruction of the planet by humans due to their population growth and increased commercial and industrial activity.
Reported in The Times hardcopy newspaper