Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The United Nations has just warned the world that last year sea level rise hit an unprecedented 3.7mm.
Climate change is making the seas rise faster than ever, UN warns
28 March 2019
By Adam Vaughan
Sea levels across the world are rising faster than ever, the United Nations has warned, meaning we urgently need to increase action on climate change.
In a report released on Thursday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN agency, painted a dire picture of all the key indicators of global warming.
The last four years were the warmest on record, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at record levels and rising, and a global average sea level rise of 3.7 millimetres in 2018 outstripped the average annual increase over the past three decades.
The findings in the group’s annual State of the Climate report will bolster efforts by António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, to make governments commit to more ambitious carbon cuts at a landmark summit in September.
“There is no longer any time for delay,” wrote Guterres in a foreword to the report.
Last year was the fourth warmest on record, bringing the global temperature 1°C warmer on average than before the industrial revolution.Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2198091-climate-change-is-making-the-seas-rise-faster-than-ever-un-warns/
Of course the report predicts more rapid sea level rise in the future. From page 16 of the report:
Over the period January 1993 to December 2018, the average rate of rise was 3.15 ± 0.3 mm yr-1, while the estimated acceleration was 0.1 mm yr-2.
Even if the UN estimate is correct, starting from 3.15mm per year this would result in a sea level rise of around:
d = vt + 0.5at2
d = 3.15 x 80 + 0.5 x 0.1 x 802
d = 572mm or just under 2ft of sea level rise by the end of the century.
I hope you all have your coastal evacuation plans ready. If this unprecedented rate of sea level rise per year continues, our children’s children might have to deal with 2ft of additional sea level by the end of this century. How will our grandchildren or great grandchildren cope with economic burden of constructing an extra foot or two of sea wall?