Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 428052
Title Long-term sea-level rise implied by 1.5oC and 2oC warming levels
Author(s) Schaeffer, M.; Hare, W.; Rahmstorf, S.; Vermeer, A.
Source Nature Climate Change 2 (2012). - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 867 - 870.
Department(s) Environmental Systems Analysis Group
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) greenhouse-gas concentrations - concentration targets - stabilization - temperature - emissions - millennia - pathways - model
Abstract Sea-level rise (SLR) is a critical and uncertain climate change risk, involving timescales of centuries(1). Here we use a semi-empirical model, calibrated with sea-level data of the past millennium(2), to estimate the SLR implications of holding warming below 2 degrees C or 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperature, as mentioned in the Cancun Agreements(3). Limiting warming to these levels with a probability larger than 50% produces 75-80 cm SLR above the year 2000 by 2100. This is 25 cm below a scenario with unmitigated emissions, but 15 cm above a hypothetical scenario reducing global emissions to zero by 2016. The long-term SLR implications of the two warming goals diverge substantially on a multi-century timescale owing to inertia in the climate system and the differences in rates of SLR by 2100 between the scenarios. By 2300 a 1.5 degrees C scenario could peak sea level at a median estimate of 1.5 m above 2000. The 50% probability scenario for 2 degrees C warming would see sea level reaching 2.7 m above 2000 and still rising at about double the present-day rate. Halting SLR within a few centuries is likely to be achieved only with the large-scale deployment of CO2 removal efforts, for example, combining large-scale bioenergy systems with carbon capture and storage(4).
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