Researchers warn that efforts to cut carbon emissions in order to slow down the rise of global sea levels may be for naught. Scientists at research groups in the United States and Australia have found that despite drastic worldwide carbon emission cutting mandates, the natural thermal expansion of sea water is still likely to occur. Emission cuts could help stunt the rise of seawater globally, but they predict its overall rise is inevitable due to temperature increases over the last thirty years.
Many nations are finally taking the rise of sea levels seriously with over 180 banding together to create a mission to cut emissions by 2020. They hope to avoid the most catastrophic effects by cutting enough emissions to keep the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius during this century.
But scientists at the United States National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate Central and Center for Australian Weather and Climate Research have all found that the effects of industrialization has warmed seawaters far below the surfaces of the world’s oceans, causing the waters in the deepest seas to expand. Because of the unreachable depth, this heat is here to stay, and will cause sea levels to continue to rise by 2100 whether emissions are cut or not.
However, reducing worldwide carbon emissions could help to slow the rise of sea levels. Scientists estimate that drastic emissions reductions now could limit the rise of sea levels to 14.2 centimeters in 2011 and 24.2 centimeters in 2300.
Although reducing carbon emissions may not be the quick fix to rising sea levels, it makes sense to implement preventative measures than it does to wait for reactive solutions.