(ORDO NEWS) — Our planet over the past decades (especially the last 10 years) has been actively losing glaciers.
This process occurs everywhere, but the melting is especially active in the Arctic, Greenland and Antarctica, which we talked about earlier.
Emissions of a huge amount of water leads to a rise in the level of the world’s oceans. There is no doubt that part of the coastal areas will sooner or later be flooded. But when will it happen?
Recent studies suggest that ocean levels are rising at a much faster rate than previously thought.
Ocean water levels are rising rapidly
In a recent study, scientists used water level data collected from satellites over the past 30 years.
This made it possible to estimate the rate of global sea level rise and conclude that by 2050 the waterline along the US coastlines will rise by 30 centimeters relative to the current value.
According to a study published in Communications Earth & Environment, rising water levels are expected to hit the Gulf Coast and the southeastern United States the hardest.
At first glance, it may seem that 30 cm is not so much. Houses will not go under water, but only slightly water will go beyond their banks.
However, even a small increase in water levels will lead to increased storms, as well as more severe and frequent tidal flooding.
Note that the study concerns only the coasts of the United States.
But it should be borne in mind that the water level cannot rise only in any one region. That is, the problem is actually of a planetary nature, and will affect coastal areas on all continents.
Flooding of the US coasts may occur before 2050
According to scientists, some natural processes can accelerate the rise in the level of water in the ocean. This could lead to the 30 centimeter mark being reached much earlier than 2050.
These processes include the El Niño and La Niña currents, as well as fluctuations in the Moon‘s orbit. But how can all this affect the water level?
According to experts, the current El Niño leads to an increase in water temperatures near South America. This, in turn, can cause an increase in precipitation.
The La Niña current will lead to a cooling of the water level in the region, which will make forecasting more difficult.
That is, data on the water level, theoretically, can be distorted, which in such conditions can also be dangerous.
As for the Moon, its orbit is not known to be constant. The satellite periodically approaches the Earth, then moves away. It happens every 18+ years. As the Moon gets closer to the Earth, it can cause severe tidal floods.
Can NASA be wrong?
Situations when scientists are wrong in their forecasts and calculations do not happen rarely. Perhaps this time the researchers were wrong, and the situation is actually not so bad?
Unfortunately, this is not to be expected. The fact is that this study converges with the results of other works of scientists.
For example, the NASA study is consistent with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report based on an analysis of data from tide gauges (instruments that record the water level in the ocean) over the past 100 years.
It says that in the next 30 years the water level will rise by 25-35 centimeters.
The report also states that rising water levels will increase the height of the tides and storm surges, which will spread inland.
By 2050, destructive floods are expected to occur, on average, more than 10 times more frequently than they do now.
Thus, the readings from satellites in the scientific community did not cause surprise, since they quite accurately coincide with the ground-based measurements.
In particular, according to climatologist David Holland, an employee of New York University, the accuracy of satellite data is very high, so there can be no doubt about the results of the study.
But for all the bleakness of NASA’s study, it also has a positive side.
The prognosis of tremendous changes on the planet that may occur within the next few decades may force decision makers to focus on this problem. Now this is really important.
Recall that at present the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere is not decreasing.
This suggests that humanity will not be able to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial period, if we do not take action right now.
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