Limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C would halve the rise in ocean levels linked to the melting of ice during the century, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.
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Since 1993, melting ice has contributed at least half of sea level rise, and scientists have already warned that large areas of ice in Antarctica are melting faster than worst-case scenario forecasts. About 50 scientists have combined simulations of the melting ice covers of Antarctica and Greenland - which alone contain enough water to raise the level of the oceans by 65 meters - as well as simulations of the 220,000 glaciers on Earth. “
Global ocean levels will continue to rise,
” says lead author Tamsin Edwards of King's College London. "
But we can halve the contribution of melting ice if we limit global warming to 1.5 ° C compared to current commitments
”by states, which would lead to a rise in temperatures of around 3 ° C.
Oceans rise to 13 centimeters by 2100
The melting ice would thus contribute to making the oceans rise by 13 centimeters by 2100, against 25 centimeters according to current projections. However, uncertainties remain regarding Antarctica. “
Greenland is very sensitive to atmospheric changes and therefore in a warmer world there will be more melting on the surface of the ice cover
,” explains Sophie Nowicki, of the NASA Goddard Flight Center and co-author of the study. “
In Antarctica, it's very complex. A warmer world could mean more snowfall, but also more melting of the ice sheet,