Scientists Can Now Tell How Much Glaciers Melting Will Affect Specific Cities

Scientists Can Now Tell How Much Glaciers Melting Will Affect Specific Cities

Scientists Can Now Tell How Much Glaciers Melting Will Affect Specific Cities

By pinpointing which specific glaciers and ice sheets are contributing to local sea level rise for individual coastal cities, scientists can paint a more complete and accurate picture of what global warming will mean for rising ocean levels.

City planning and development departments will now be able to prepare for rising sea levels with the help of a new simulation tool by Nasa. Sea level will rise by 0.51-1.31 m by the end of the century.

We exploit an advanced mathematical property of adjoint systems and determine the exact gradient of sea-level fingerprints with respect to local variations in the ice thickness of all of the world's ice drainage systems.

Past NASA inquire about has said that if Antarctic ice in the western part of the mainland were to soften, the world's ocean levels would rise four feet over the globe, yet the Eastern Seaboard of the USA would see ascents of more than triple that gauge. For example, in London, local sea-level changes is significantly affected by changes on the western part of the Greenland ice sheet, whereas in NY, such changes are greatly sensitive to changes in the northeastern portions of the ice sheet, the tool showed.

This computer model considers factors such as the speed of rotation of the Earth around its axis and the gravitational effects in the analysis of data on the possible areas of flooding. The online tool can be a bit technical to use and understand.

The accompanying study analyzes 293 major port cities and aims to let coastal planners accurately calculate local sea level changes as well as know which melting parts of the Earth's polar ice cap present the biggest risks to each region. It is believed that Mumbai and NY are the most vulnerable, however, the new finding has put forward an alternative theory.

While New York residents will primarily receive contributions from the northwest and northeast quadrants of Greenland, London residents should be more concerned about the northwest portion of the island.

The GFM tool shows how troubling the rise of sea-levels is.

There is a physical explanation for this - gravity.

"Ice sheets are so heavy, that when they melt, the gravity field is modified, and the ocean is less attracted to the ice mass", Larour told CNN.

For this reason, cities like Halifax and Reykjavik, Iceland, may actually see sea levels decrease. Moving south, the tool shows that melting of the northern parts of the Antarctic ice sheet will have a profound impact on Sydney, Australia. Should coastal planners have concern over where land ice is melting?, Science Advances (2017).

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