ecoglobe [yinyang] news (20 October 1999)

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UK: OCEANS TO RISE 20FT IF ICE SHEETS MELT

By Nick Nuttall environment correspondent, Times, London

      10/19/1999 -
A 70 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions is needed to save the planet from dangerous climate change, scientists said yesterday.
      Anything less will see sharp rises in drought, the spread of diseases, and the dying off of huge swaths of the tropical forests in South America and Africa, said the researchers based at universities, including Southampton and East Anglia, and research centres across Britain.
      Dr Geoff Jenkins, of the Meteorological Office's Hadley Centre, said there was enough extra energy in the Earth's system to raise sea levels for many centuries to come even if big cuts in greenhouse gases were made. Final sea levels would depend on the extent to which the Arctic and Antarctica melt. But new findings from the Free University of Brussels indicate that a rise of "only a few more degrees" in global temperatures could trigger a total melt of the Greenland ice sheets.
      The findings, to be put to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which advises the United Nations and governments - indicate that the melting could add up to 70cm (28in) a century of extra sea level rise to the 20cm already forecast from 2100. And this is on top of the 50cm forecast over the next 100 years as global temperatures climb from half a degree above the average now to 3C above average by 2080.
      Dr Jonathan Gregory, another researcher at the Hadley Centre, said yesterday that a total loss of the Greenland ice sheet could add 6 metres (almost 20ft) to ocean levels over the next 1,000 years.
     
      LINKS
http://www.unfccc.de/ - UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
http://www.met-office.gov.uk/sec5/CR-div/CoP5/ - Climate Change and its Impacts: Stabilisation of CO2 in the Atmosphere

(c) Times Newspapers Ltd, 1999. Not Available for Re-dissemination.

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed for research and educational purposes only. **
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ecoglobe [yinyang] news (20 October 1999)

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