I’d like to first give you all a warning, the uncertainty of long term sea level rise is pretty big, so please don’t derive any permanent conclusions from this article.
Since I live in The Netherlands and I’m kinda interested in climate change, it’s also obvious to be interested in sea level rise. The place where I live in Noord Holland sits a whole meter beneath the sea level. So the big question is, will we be keeping our feet dry in the future?
If we would be able to limit the warming to just 1.5°C, who knows, maybe we could. But predictions about future warming are a bit more dire than that. If all goes well and we put some real effort into mitigating emissions we just might just be able to limit warming to 2°C. Then again if things don’t go so well it would be even hard to limit warming to 3°C. And what would the impact be on future sea level rise?
While searching the internet I really couldn’t find the answer I was looking for. And in my country which lies for the greater part beneath sea level strangely enough it’s not even discussed. For the short term there are quite a few upper scenario’s from scientists and even the IPCC that by 2100 we could see 1 meter sea level rise. One NASA scientist even goes so far to predict 3 to 4 meters sea level rise by 2200. And of course we know the current rate of sea level rise which is 3.29 mm per year. But the large uncertainty of longer term sea level rise keeps scientists from doing bold predictions. All in all reason for me to make a graph and to do some figuring out my self!
I started at 0 meters in 2000 and then added the 3.3 mm per year. Then I increased the increase in sea level rise per year with a formula (*1,075+0,005). This gave me good results as I only got a conservative 70 cm rise by 2100 and a conservative sea level rise of 2,85 m by 2200 which was beneath to what scientists predict. After 2300 I started to limit the multiplication factor by 1,050 not to make things too bizar and after 2400 doing the same again to just 1.025 making it more linear in the latter stages.
So this is what I got:
And what I got was a whopping 8 meter sea level rise by 2300. And what comes after that is even more ridiculous. More than enough to make the feet of future generations wet and for instance to say bye bye to Amsterdam. Even the Dutch can’t build dikes that can hold so much water. Ok, this wasn’t done very scientifically, but knowing the stuff that is happening in Greenland and Antarctica right now I have no assumption to be wrong either. Until proven wrong of course.
If this is a bit too alarmist for you, you can always rewind the clock back to the latest IPCC report where at the time experts said that the IPCC underestimates sea level rise. But that was all before the bad news about Antarctica appeared.
As a follow up here’s an alternate graph with one modification. Mainly the multiplication factor starts at an higher rate and decreases seamless to an even negative rate at the end.