News Digest Item
21 Feb 2018

Near-term mitigation action important for limiting long-term risks of sea level rise

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) / nature communications

Sea level rise is a major consequence of climate change that will continue long after emissions of greenhouse gases have stopped, and today’s mitigation action is important to limit long-term risks, according to a study conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and published in nature communications. “Every delay in peaking emissions by five years between 2020 and 2035 could mean additional 20 cm of sea-level rise in the end – which is the same amount the world’s coasts have experienced since the beginning of the pre-industrial era,” explains lead author Matthias Mengel. “For some it might seem that our present actions might not make such a big difference – but our study illustrates how wrong this perception is.” The researchers’ central projections indicate global sea level rise between 0.7 and 1.2 metres by 2300 with the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement put fully into practice, while temperature stabilisation below 2°C is insufficient to hold median sea level rise by 2300 below 1.5 metres.

Read the PIK press release in English here, and the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change.

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