Research: Future sea-level rise is a problem probably too big to be solved even by unprecedented geo-engineering

Earth is continuously becoming warmer and it could lead to serious issues for coastal communities and major cities along the coastlines. If the ocean level continues its rise due to global warming, coastlines across the world will retreat inland in the future. It means some coastal cities in locations like Florida, New York, and other major cities will suffer in terms of real estate.

During a debate, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have discussed the topic precisely on Wednesday night, as cities like Florida could lose a larger part of the land, on which people are living presently and have their property.

Considering this scenario, in the latest study published in the open access journal Earth System Dynamics, scientists have come up with an idea to pump water in extremely cold regions. However, considering some calculations about the scale of what it would demand, the idea might sound far-fetched. The scale is apparently quite massive. But then, something has to be done about the issue.

One of the study’s authors, Anders Levermann, a sea-level expert at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said that it wasn’t a proposition, but just a discussion. Levermann said that it is supposed to kick start a discussion over how huge the sea level problem actually is.

In simple words, their idea is to pump surplus seawater over two miles into the air towards the top of the Antarctic ice sheet. There it would get freeze and remain there for a quite long period, though not forever.

The latest study has used a computer model of Antarctica for studying the consequences of putting large volumes of salt water into various parts of the ice sheet.

And, they notice fewer problems, including a large amount of energy required and the huge geo-engineering of which is possibly the only actual unspoiled site on our planet.

This, the Potsdam Institute has itself framed the study in support of the idea, ‘future sea-level rise is a problem probably too big to be solved even by unprecedented geo-engineering’.

According to a report in MaineNewsOnline by Betty Laseter, “The researchers have given the idea to pump out excess seawater more than two miles into the air to the top of the Antarctic ice sheet. There it would freeze and stay for a long time. In the study, the researchers have used a computer model of Antarctica to study the consequences of adding a huge amount of salt water to different areas of the ice sheet.”

It is obvious that some problems will arise like there will be a need for a massive amount of energy and massive geoengineering will be required. These issues are enough to consider that the future sea-level rise is a problem that is too big to be solved even with the help of geo-engineering.

In a statement provided to CSMonitor News, “Geoengineering typically refers to mitigating global climate change either by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or by preventing sunlight from warming the surface by reflecting it back into space.”

“Some argue we shouldn’t even contemplate [geoengineering], as it’s too dangerous to the planet,” says Karen Pinkus, incoming chair of the Faculty Advisory Board at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, at Cornell University, in a telephone interview with The Christian Science Monitor.

WashingtonPost report added, “As our planet continues to warm, coastlines worldwide will retreat inland — in the long run, maybe by a lot. That means some coastal cities, in places like Florida — where Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated precisely this topic on Wednesday night — stand to lose quite a lot of land where people currently live and own property.”

“This is not a proposition,” said Anders Levermann, a sea-level expert at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the study’s authors. “It’s a discussion. It’s supposed to initiate the discussion on how big the sea level problem really is.” The paper was composed by Levermann and fellow researchers Katja Frieler and Matthias Mengel.

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