March 19, 2012
"Global Sea Level Likely to Rise as Much as 70 Feet for Future Generations". Rutgers researchers, led by Rutgers Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences Kenneth Miller, published a study titled "High Tide of the Warm Pliocene: Implications of Global Sea Level for Antarctic Deglaciation", warning that global sea levels will rise by as much as 70 feet over the coming centuries even if humankind were able to limit global warming to only 2 degrees C. By the end of the 21st century it is predicted that current levels will have risen 2 to 3 feet due to a combination of a warming ocean, melting glaciers, and melting ice pack in Greenland and Antarctica. The research was based on an analysis of the earth's atmosphere during the Pilocene epoch, some 2.7 to 3.5 million years ago. By studying rock and soil samples from around the world, researchers were able to conclude that at current CO2 levels the natural state of the planet's oceans is about 20 meters higher than present sea levels. Other Rutgers faculty involved in the research were James Wright, Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences; James Browning, Assistant Research Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences; and Yair Rosenthal, Professor of Marine Science.