Princeton University, Professor, New York discussed on BBC World Service


Sea levels, may rise by two meters. By the end of the century double previous predictions. It comes from new research, which doesn't rely on any one particular scientific model, or set of survey shins, but instead has been formulated by twenty two experts who arrived at their conclusions utilizing a range of the latest data on the topic. So pretty comprehensive, that's what they want you to know in real terms, two meters means one point eight million square kilometers of land. A lot of Bangladesh, Egypt's Nile valley, for example, being submerged major cities London, New York and Shanghai possibly having to decamp. So actually how likely is it that this is going to happen to meters? Really? Michael Oppenheimer is professor of geoscience, Princeton University. One of the office. So there are two important factors should know but the two meters one is it assumes a business as usual trajectory for missions that is. Will do very little, if anything to restrain the use of fossil fuels during this century, and the second thing you should know, is that we develop a probability distribution. We developed the chances that something will happen and the two meters relates to the chance that set of eventual occur which together, we'll have about a five percent probability, or less of happening. Another one in twenty shot that this outcome will happen. Now a one twenty shot might not sound like a lot. But safe you're gonna get on an airplane, but had a one in twenty chance crashing. You probably wouldn't do it. Well, in a in sort of an allergy this is like bedding one in twenty chance of the world will gradually over the centuries slip into her. What's really a catastrophic situation? Do you also model that catastrophe to Beatles means what, what ends up on the water? How many people displaced what, what food come, we grow? First of all, literally, a significant. Fraction of the coastal zone of the world winds up per million dated, but long before that happens. You start to get flooding due to storm surges, because, you know when you get a big storm the sea rises in response to the low pressure, and there's a bulge of, of it's pushed into the coast. The high winds at circulate the storm and that means that you get these extreme tides, essentially, which are, what cause extreme coastal flooding and lead to a lot of damage, for instance in my country in the course of hurricanes. Those are the kind of events it become much more harmful, if you have a higher seed level, so for instance, in a place like say, Boston, Massachusetts, even on the high tide if you had to meters of sea level, you'd be flooding good deal of downtown area of the city, same thing in New York City. And in terms of the time to avoid, that's the other thing the window, which is slamming closed on our fingers as we. Speak. How long do we have to avoid this? Well, in some sense, some level rise. It's too late to avoid because the client is such a Noushin climate system that climate change for the next thirty or forty years. No matter what we do is baked in unfortunately, sea level rise, says even more Noushin than temperature, which means sea level, would just gradually keep rising either under the most favorable emission scenarios, for basically hundreds of years, but the difference a big difference between an ultimate sea level rise of say something around a meter and Oldham c- of a rise of several meters, and what is mitigate oil. You've said this fifty percent chance of a one meter rise. Is it possible to mitigate that because ultimately the threat under which powerful countries feel will determine how much they going to actually do about this? What could you do about your? As likely as not your one meter well hit depends on where you live. But honestly, if the sea level rise does get to the meter size. They were going to be a lot of places including in rich cities, like New York where I live where some people are going to have to retreat. They just simply not going to be able to live where they live now because our ready, we're getting flooding on the high tide Mark ten twenty thirty days a year in some places match only gonna get worse, and it's too expensive to build a wall, everywhere, you just can't do it now, northwest Europe. It is some long experience with defending against of a rise. And I think a lot of northwest Europe, assuming they can afford. It will see construction of hard structures like walls. It's not the most pleasant way to do it. But, but that's what's gonna happen. But in other places the money isn't there or the coast is just too dispersed, and too lightly populated the bother, and it's not going to happen. And people are going to have to move away from those. Areas. Michael Oppenheim out on the proportional chances of climate change. But one of the subsets of those warnings, the rise in sea levels five percent, chance of two meter rise by the end of the century metal up and I'm a professor at Princeton University. You're listening to music.

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