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Vital Climate Graphics

Scenarios of Sea Level Rise

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22. Using the IS92 emission scenarios, projected global mean sea level increases relative to 1990 were calculated up to 2100. Taking into account the ranges in the estimate of climate sensitivity and ice melt parameters, and the full set of IS92 emission scenarios, the models project an increase in global mean sea level of between 13 and 94 cm.

During the fist half of the next century, the choice of emission scenario has relatively little effect on the projected sea level rise due to the large thermal inertia of the ocean-ice-atmosphere climate system, but has increasingly larger effects in the later part of the next century. In addition, because of the thermal inertia of the oceans, sea level would continue to rise for many centuries beyond 2100 even if concentrations of greenhouse gases were stabilized at that time.