Photo Essay: How High Could Seas Rise?

by |May 14, 2018

Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are examining coasts around the world to measure how high seas rose during past warm periods. Their aim: to refine estimates of sea-level rise in coming decades, during our current era of human-induced global warming. Recently, they visited the Caribbean island of Barbados. Made mostly of fossil coral reefs that have been slowly rising from the waves for hundreds of thousands of years, the island contains an exquisite record of how the ocean has risen and fallen.  (All photos by Kevin Krajick)   READ THE FULL SCIENTIFIC STORY

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Shrouded by sea mist from giant waves, postdoctoral scientist Blake Dyer (left) and geochemist Steven Goldstein survey the geology along Barbados’s northern coast. The nearly 100-foot cliffs behind them are made entirely of fossil corals; offshore, new corals are constantly forming underwater, and probably also one day will be on dry land.

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What will happen to New Zealand if global temperatures rise to 2 degrees or more, say up to 4 degrees? Can anyone foretell? Is it possible that poles flip and NZ will be under snow? What is possible?