Extreme weather Sea level rise

Extreme weather

Changes in regional climate are expected to include greater warming over land, with most warming at high northern latitudes, and least warming over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean. 

Future changes in precipitation are expected to follow existing trends, with reduced precipitation over subtropical land areas, and increased precipitation at sub-polar latitudes and some equatorial regions.[156] Projections suggest a probable increase in the frequency and severity of some extreme weather events, such as heat waves.

A 2015 study published in Nature Climate Change, states about 18% of the moderate daily precipitation extremes over land are attributable to the observed temperature increase since pre-industrial times, which in turn primarily results from human influence. For 2 °C of warming the fraction of precipitation extremes attributable to human influence rises to about 40%. Likewise, today about 75% of the moderate daily hot extremes over land are attributable to warming. It is the most rare and extreme events for which the largest fraction is anthropogenic. And that contribution increases non-linearly with further warming.

Data analysis of extreme events from 1960 till 2010 suggests that droughts and heat waves appear simultaneously with increased frequency. Extremely wet or dry events within the monsoon period have increased since 1980.

 Sea level rise

Sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating since the early 1800s. In the 1950s measurements began. They allow the monitoring of glacial mass balance, reported to the World Glacier Monitoring Service(WGMS) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Sea level rise, has been estimated to be on average 2.6 mm and 2.9 mm per year ± 0.4 mm since 1993. Additionally, sea level rise has accelerated during the past two decades. Over the 21st century, the IPCC projects for a high emissions scenario, that global mean sea level could rise by 52–98 cm. The IPCC’s projections are conservative, and may underestimate future sea level rise. Other estimates suggest for the same period that global mean sea level could rise by 0.2 to 2.0 m (0.7–6.6 ft), relative to mean sea level in 1992.

Widespread coastal flooding would be expected if several degrees of warming is sustained for millennia. For example, sustained global warming of more than 2 °C (relative to pre-industrial levels) could lead to eventual sea level rise of around 1 to 4 m due to thermal expansion of sea water and the melting of glaciers and small ice caps. Melting of the Greenland ice sheet could contribute an additional 4 to 7.5 m over many thousands of years.

It has been estimated that we are already committed to a sea-level rise of approximately 2.3 meters for each degree of temperature rise within the next 2,000 years.

Warming beyond the 2 °C target would potentially lead to rates of sea-level rise dominated by ice loss from Antarctica. Continued CO2 emissions from fossil sources could cause additional tens of meters of sea level rise. Over the next millennia and eventually ultimately eliminate the entire Antarctic ice sheet, causing about 58 meters of sea level rise.

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