Burning Fossil Fuels Would Submerge Coastal Cities From New York To Shanghai

Burning Fossil Fuels Would Submerge Coastal Cities From New York To Shanghai
Baltic Sea Red Elsamuko / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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If all the fossil fuels left on Earth are burned in the next 10,000 years, global sea level would rise to over 200 feet, drowning coastal cities from New York to Shanghai deep underwater.


According to a study published in Science Advances it is observed that Antarctica would melt drastically, leading to rise in global sea levels up to 200 feet if the fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas are completely burned out in the projected period of 10,000 years.  Such an increase in the sea level would undoubtedly put coastal cities from New York to Shanghai under the sea, according to Gizmodo.

Ken Caldeira, co-author author of the study at Carnegie Institution, told Gizmodo that “Our study shows that if we don’t leave most of the carbon in the ground, we are going to melt most of the ice on this planet.” He also added that “Most previous studies of Antarctic have focused on loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Our study demonstrates that burning coal, oil, and gas also risks loss of the much larger East Antarctic Ice Sheet.”

Ricarda Winkelmann, the lead author of the study and a Visiting Investigator at the Carnegie Institution, noted that though it isn’t easy to predict precisely when the ice cubes in the warming room would melt, it is certain that they are going to melt sooner or later, reported Science Codex.

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Anders Levermann, another co-author of the study, noted that the ice sheets in West Antarctica have started melting already which may or may not be happening as a result of human activity. She also added that it is indispensable to avoid tipping in East Antarctica if one doesn’t want to drown heritage-rich cities like Calcutta, Hamburg, Hong Kong, New York, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

Caldeira added, “We show for the first time that there is sufficient fossil fuel in the ground to melt effectively all of Antarctica, eventually producing close to 200 ft (60 m) of sea level rise.”