London | A British study published on Thursday said that melting ice sheets in the past may have caused sea levels to rise 10 times faster than they are now, and are littered with “basic evidence” of the effects of current warming.
Sea level could rise by 1 meter, or even double according to estimates, by the end of the 21st century.
The researchers, led by scientists from the University of Durham, relied on geological records of past sea level to estimate that levels increased by 3.6 meters per century over a period of 500 years at the end of the last ice age, or so. 14,600 years ago.
The team also found that this 18-meter rise in sea level may have been primarily caused by melting ice caps in the northern hemisphere and not from Antarctica as previously thought.
Scientists say their work could provide “vital clues” to the impact climate change could have, which is causing sea levels to rise.
“We found that most of the rapid rise in sea level was due to melting ice sheets in North America and Scandinavia, with a surprisingly small contribution from Antarctica,” says study author Pippa Whitehouse, Department of Geography.
“The next big question is what caused the ice to melt and what was the effect of the massive flow of water on ocean currents in the North Atlantic,” he added. “This is a major concern for us today – any disruption in the Gulf Stream, for example due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, will have dire consequences for the UK climate,” Whitehouse said.
The scientists explained that the rise in sea level over the course of five centuries, which can be compared to the melting of the ice sheet twice the size of Greenland, flooded large areas of land and disrupted the circulation of the oceans, which led to the occurrence of ripples. Effects on the planet’s climate.