Friday, Sept 5, 2008
Al Gore’s Oscar-winning environmental documentary exaggerated the likely effects of global warming on sea levels, a new study shows.
The film, An Inconvenient Truth, suggested that the sea would rise up to 20ft “in the near future” as the ice in Greenland or Western Antarctica melts.
Other documentaries have picture Britain deluged with water, showing the House of Commons submerged.
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However, while some mainstream predictions project sea levels 2 to 4 meters higher by 2100, a new study published today in Science concludes that a rise in sea level between 0.8 and 2 meters is much more likely.
While scientists agree that sea levels rose by six inches over the course of the 20th century, estimates of future rises remain hazy, mostly because there are many uncertainties, from the lack of data on what ice sheets did in the past to predict how they will react to warming, insufficient long-term satellite data to unpick the effects of natural climate change from that caused by man and a spottiness in the degree to which places such as Antarctica have warmed.
Prof Tad Pfeffer at University of Colorado in Boulder, Dr Joel Harper at University of Montana and Dr Shad O’Neel at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, reached these conclusions after studying the ice and water being discharged from Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
This article was posted: Friday, September 5, 2008 at 3:19 am