Higher sea rises caused by past emission levels

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Paying for past sins?photo: AFP
Paying for past sins?photo: AFP

Past greenhouse gas concentrations, similar to present levels of about 400 parts per million, were also linked to sea levels rising at least nine metres higher than current levels over the past 40 million years, according to a study.

The new study by National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK), determined the ‘natural equilibrium’ sea level for CO{-2}concentrations ranging between ice-age values of 180 parts per million and ice-free values of more than 1,000 parts per million.

It takes many centuries for such an equilibrium to be reached. Therefore, while the study does not predict any sea level value for the coming century, it does illustrate what sea level might be expected if climate were stabilized at a certain CO{-2}level for several centuries. The researchers compiled more than 2,000 pairs of CO{-2}and sea level data points, spanning critical periods within the last 40 million years.

The researchers found that the natural relationship displays a strong rise in sea level for CO{-2}increase from 180 to 400 parts per million, peaking at CO{-2}levels close to present-day values.IANS



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