If global temperatures rise by another 3.5 degrees Celsius, drastically altering the climate, sea levels could rise by an additional 4 feet by the end of the century and 16 feet by the year 2300, a new study suggests.
The rise in sea-levels "would expose up to hundreds of millions of people to coastal flooding and devastate coastal ecosystems," the authors wrote in the study, which has been published in Climate and Atmospheric Science. The findings are the work of 106 experts who think global sea levels will rise between 0.63 and 1.32 meters (2-4.2 feet) by 2100 and between 1.67 and 5.61 meters (5.5-18.1 feet) by 2300.
"It is clear now that previous sea-level rise estimates have been too low," the study's co-author, Stefan Rahmstorf, told AFP.
The notable change from previous forecasts could have big implications for roughly 10 percent of the world's population, or 770 million people, who live less than 16 feet above sea level, The Sun reported.
In September 2019, the U.N. issued a report that found seas are now rising at 3.66 millimeters per year, up from a previous estimate of 3 millimeters.
A separate study published in February suggested that if global temperatures were to rise 0.5 degrees Celsius over the next 50 years, approximately half of the world's species would become locally extinct. If temperatures were to rise 2.9 degrees Celsius, 95 percent of the species would become locally extinct.
In May 2019, a separate study suggested climate change could raise sea levels by as much as 7 feet by 2100.
The landmark Paris Climate Agreement, which was agreed to in 2015 under the Obama administration, has as its long-term goal limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Nearly 200 nations signed the landmark agreement, including China.
In early November 2019, the Trump administration began its formal withdrawal from the agreement.