The study predicts that the maximum rise by the year 2100 is 30cm (Photo : Reuters)
It will take centuries for sea levels to rise to alarming levels, researchers say.
According to Professor Philippe Huybrechts of the Alfred Wegner Institute, "Ice sheets are very slow components in the climate system; they respond on time scales of thousands of years."
While the melting of polar ice caps is well underway, Huybrechts and his team concluded that we will have to wait until the year 3000 for the oceans to rise by 1m, or potentially 4 to 6 meters.
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"If climatic warming will be severe and long-lasting all ice will eventually melt," he says.
The study predicts that the maximum rise by the year 2100 is 30cm. The Register notes that, if the study's predictions are correct, sea levels in the 21st century will remain relatively stable.
The Register posted the following statement on its site:
"The researchers believe this is the first study to include glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and the thermal expansion of the oceans into a projection of sea-level rises. They did so by using a climate modelling system called LOVECLIM, which includes components from a number of different subsystems.
The polar ice sheets are not normally included into projections due to computational constraints, whilst researchers often find it difficult to account for the 200 000 individual glaciers that are found all over the world in very different climatic settings."
While sea levels will inevitably rise, it will be a gradual change that will not likely have a tangible impact in our lifetime. Yet, in the consideration of future generations, "Mankind should limit the concentration of greenhouse gases at the lowest possible level as soon as possible. The only realistic option is a drastic reduction of the emissions. The lower the ultimate warming will be, the less severe the ultimate consequences will be," states Huybrechts.