London: A large number of cities across
the world, including the eastern Indian metropolis of Kolkata,
are at risk from the threat of rising sea level due to global
warming, a major international study has claimed.
According to the study by the Scientific Committee on
Antarctic Research, sea levels would rise by twice as much as
previously predicted as a result of global warming and by 2100
they would be up to 1.4 metres.
Such a rise in sea levels would engulf island nations
such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and Tuvalu in the
Pacific, devastate coastal cities such as Calcutta and Dhaka
and force London, New York and Shanghai to spend billions on
flood defences, `The Times` reported.
Even if the average global temperature increases by
only 2C -- the target set for next week`s Copenhagen summit --
sea levels could still rise by 50 cm, twice that predicted two
years ago, the study has calculated.
SCAR, a partnership of 35 of the world`s leading
climate research institutions, made the prediction in the
report `Antarctic Climate Change and Climate`. It far exceeds
the 0.59 metre rise by the end of the century quoted by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007.
SCAR scientists said that the IPCC underestimated
grossly how much the melting of the Antarctic and Greenland
ice sheets would contribute to total sea-level rises.