Professor Tim Naish, the lead author of the next international climate change assessment due for release in 2014, is predicting a one metre rise in sea levels over the next 90 years. This will be a doubling of the present rate of sea-level rise, but a slower rate rise than predicted by other researchers.
Prof. Naish has been appointed lead author by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His forecast is based on rock cores drilled from the Antarctic coastline that provide evidence of the earth’s geological condition 4 million years ago when the climate was similar to the ‘climate we are heading towards in the next century with global warming,’ he says.
During that ancient period, the West Antarctic ice sheet melted and raised seas by a total of five metres, and the Greenland ice sheet melted adding another seven metres, says Prof. Naish, who is director of New Zealand’s Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University in Wellington.
Prof. Naish’s latest findings will be presented at the Australian Earth Sciences Convention in Canberra 4-8 July 2010.