Geoengineer polar glaciers to slow sea-level rise

Stalling the fastest flows of ice into the oceans would buy us a few centuries to deal with climate change and protect coasts, argue John C. Moore and colleagues.

Go to the profile of Nature Research
Mar 30, 2018

The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will contribute more to sea-level rise this century than any other source. By mid-century, a 2 °C increase is predicted to swell the global oceans by around 20 centimetres, on average. By 2100, most large coastal cities will face sea levels that are more than a metre higher than currently. If nothing is done, 0.5–5% of the world’s population will be flooded each year after 2100. For example, a 0.5-metre rise in Guangzhou, China, would displace more than 1 million people; a 2-metre rise would affect more than 2 million. Without coastal protection, the global cost of damages could reach US$50 trillion a year. Sea walls and flood defences cost tens of billions of dollars a year to construct and maintain. At this price, geoengineering is competitive.

By John C. Moore, Rupert Gladstone, Thomas Zwinger & Michael Wolovick


No comments yet.