Study: Global warming could drown the Statue of Liberty … in 2,000 years

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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A new study recommends scratching the Statue of Liberty or the UK’s Tower of London off your travel list in 4014. Global warming will cause sea levels to rise about six feet in the next 2,000 years, meaning such historical sites could be lost.

A study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters predicts that about 140 out of 700 UNESCO World Heritage sites could be flooded in 2,000 years due to manmade global warming. Such sites that could be lost to rising sea levels include the Sydney Opera House, the canal city of Venice, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan and South Africa’s Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison.

“Our analysis shows how serious the long-term impacts for our cultural heritage will be if climate change is not mitigated,” said Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, one of the study’s co-authors.

Researchers based their findings on sea level rises that would occur with temperature rises of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-Industrial Revolution levels. The report also found that up to 12 countries could lose more than half their territory due to rising sea levels and up to 36 countries could lose at least 10 percent of their territory. The study adds that “7% of the global population currently lives in regions that will be below local sea level.”

While the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that global temperatures could rise an additional 2.6 to 4.8 Celsius this century, global temperatures have been flat for more than 17 years — despite rapidly rising carbon dioxide emissions.

In fact, some climate scientist have noted a slight cooling trend since the late 1990s, while others have argued that we could be on the verge of a cooler century than the last.

Last year, German scientists said that declining solar cycles and ocean oscillation cycles will combine to lower global temperatures during the 21st century.

“Due to the de Vries cycle, the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the ‘little ice age’ of 1870,” write German scientists Horst-Joachim Luedecke and Carl-Otto Weiss of the European Institute for Climate and Energy.

Russian scientists made similar findings in 2012, arguing that the planet is poised to enter another “Little Ice Age”.

“After the maximum of solar cycle 24, from approximately 2014 we can expect the start of deep cooling with a Little Ice Age in 2055,” wrote Habibullo Abdussamatov of the Russian Academy of Science.

(H/T Watts Up With That)

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