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‘A better path’ toward projecting, planning for rising seas on a warmer Earth

April 4, 2013

More useful projections of sea level are possible despite substantial uncertainty about the future behavior of massive ice sheets, according to Princeton University researchers.

In two recent papers in the journals Nature Climate Change and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers present a probabilistic assessment of the Antarctic contribution to 21st-century sea-level change. Their methodology folds observed changes and models of different complexity into unified projections that can be updated with new information. This approach provides a consistent means to integrate the potential contribution of both continental ice sheets — Greenland and Antarctica — into sea-level rise projections.