Sea-level rise of +6m to come?

bus-sea-level-revised-640pxIn a review paper in Science, PAGES working group PALSEA2 have analyzed sea levels during recent warm periods in Earth’s history when global average temperatures were similar to or slightly warmer than today – about 1°C above preindustrial temperatures.

They concluded that global average temperatures similar to today, but slightly higher polar temperatures, resulted in more than 6 metres of global average sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet loss.

The study confirms that our present climate is warming to a level associated with significant polar ice-sheet loss in the past and even our present temperature targets may commit Earth to at least 6 metres of sea-level rise.


“Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods”, Dutton et al., Science, 10 July 2015, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4019

> Access paper


> PALSEA2 / PAGES Press Release (English, 7 July 2015)

> View media coverage

Analyses and maps of sea-level rise impact

Colleagues at Climate Central have run US and global analyses putting the projected 6m of eventual sea level rise in a meaningful context.

> Global-focused research summary and graphics with global number (>375 million), rankings of top nations and megacities

> Climate Central’s own coverage of the Science paper

> Zip code-searchable interactive map of the US showing land below 6m

> US-focused research summary and tables giving assessment of US national population below 6m (>23 million), plus rankings and numbers for top states and cities



Figure 1: Small increases in global average temperature may eventually lead to sea-level rise of 6 metres or more according to evidence from past warm periods in Earth’s history. Temperatures shown are relative to preindustrial levels. Present day temperature is around 0.8°C higher than preindustrial levels.