Published On: Mon, Aug 6th, 2018

Scientists Warn of 'Hothouse Earth,' 200-Foot Rise in Sea Levels

Global warming could result in average temperatures nearly 10 degrees higher than they are now and rising seas of up to 200 feet, according to a new paper.

An international team of scientists made the claim in a manuscript published Monday by the National Academy of Sciences.

"We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a 'Hothouse Earth' pathway even as human emissions are reduced," the paper's abstract reads.

"Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene."

According to USA Today, the threshold cited by the authors could make the planet 6-8 degrees hotter. Sea levels could potentially rise anywhere from 30 feet to 200 feet.

"Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of [3.6 degrees] may trigger other Earth system processes, often called 'feedbacks,' that can drive further warming — even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases," the study's lead author Will Steffen said, according to USA Today.

That means the Earth faces the potential of runaway global warming at some point in the future.

"Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state," the abstract reads.

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Scientists Warn of 'Hothouse Earth,' 200-Foot Rise in Sea Levels