21 Feb 2018

Paris climate targets not enough to stem sea level rise - research

7:18 am on 21 February 2018

New research shows targets set out in the Paris climate change agreement may not be enough to offset sea level rise in the next 300 years.

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Photo: 123r

The research, published today in the journal Nature Communications, says the world will experience sea level rise of between 0.7 and 1.2 metres even if the targets are met.

The Paris Agreement was signed by most countries in December 2015, when they agreed to lower their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to stave off the most drastic effects of climate change.

Two years later, many countries are struggling to meet their commitments, and the United States - the world's second-largest polluter - has pulled out altogether.

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Photo: 123RF

Today's research, led by Matthias Mengel from Germany's Potsdam Institute, says even if emissions are reined in immediately sea level rise will continue for centuries, as glaciers and the Antarctic ice shelf are already melting.

It says because emissions in the coming decades influence sea levels in the coming centuries, it's crucial that action is taken urgently.

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