Thursday, January 25, 2007

The high-water millenium

A Reuters story by Alison Doyle previews an about-to-be-released report on a study by a panel of 2,500 scientists who advise the United Nations on climate. It estimates that sea levels will keep rising for more than 1,000 years even if governments manage to slow a projected surge in temperatures this century blamed on greenhouse gases.

"Twenty-first century anthropogenic (human) carbon dioxide emissions will contribute to warming and sea level rise for more than a millennium, due to the timescales required for removal of this gas," the sources quoted the report as saying.
The "good news" is that the rise is likely to be only 11 to 17 inches in this century. Still, rising seas would threaten low-lying Pacific islands, coasts from Bangladesh to Florida and cities from Shanghai to Buenos Aires.

In New Delhi, IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said he hoped the report would shock governments into action.

"I hope this report will shock people, governments into taking more serious action as you really can't get a more authentic and a more credible piece of scientific work," he told Reuters.

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