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09 November 2004

Global warming is melting the Arctic ice faster than expected

Sea to rise a metre by 2100 says expert
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Global warming is melting the Arctic ice faster than expected, and the world's oceans could rise by about a metre (3 feet) by 2100, swamping homes from Bangladesh to Florida, the head of a study says. Robert Corell, chairman of the eight-nation Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), also told a news conference there were some hints of greater willingness by the United States, the world's top polluter, to take firmer action to slow climate change. Speaking at the start of a four-day scientific conference in Reykjavik, Corell said global warming was melting the Greenland ice sheet and Arctic glaciers from Alaska to Norway quicker than previously thought. "Greenland will play a much bigger role in sea level rise than anticipated," said Corell, a scientist at the American Meteorological Society. He said a 2001 U.N. report forecast world ocean levels would rise by 20-90 cms by 2100. He said some U.N. forecasts assumed melting Greenland ice would cause just 4 mm of the rise. "We'll be at the top of the range, about a metre," he said. The ACIA report says that Greenland's melt alone could add 10 cms to global sea levels by 2100. Melting of other Arctic glaciers would also contribute.

About 17 million people in Bangladesh live less than one metre above sea level. Pacific islands like Tuvalu could be swamped and much of Florida south of Miami would be inundated by a one metre rise.


How seriously do world goverments take this?

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