23 Feb 2018

Pacific Climate Change conference hears sea level rise of two metres by 2100

11:55 am on 23 February 2018

A prominent New Zealand research scientist says sea level rise from the Antarctic ice sheet may be twice that of previous estimates.

Victoria University of Wellington's director of the Antarctic Research Centre Tim Naish was a speaker at the Pacific Climate Change Convention, Wellington.

Victoria University of Wellington's director of the Antarctic Research Centre Tim Naish was a speaker at the Pacific Climate Change Convention, Wellington. Photo: RNZ Pacific/Dominic Godfrey

Victoria University of Wellington's director of the Antarctic Research Centre Tim Naish was a speaker at the Pacific Climate Change Convention on Thursday.

He is working on a new project to improve estimates of sea level rise around New Zealand and the Pacific.

Dr Naish said the last assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have underestimated the Antarctic contribution.

He said a high emissions pathway could be even worse than formerly understood.

"We may have under-estimated the Antarctic contribution by 1 metre, by the end of the century. So add another metre to the 1 metre we're already predicting for global sea level," he said.

Dr Naish echoes the stance of Samoa's prime minister that temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and that the 2 degrees commitment of the Pacific COP meeting is too high.

PCCC2018 team organisers with keynote speaker Samoa PM Tuilaepa (centre) and VUW’s Pala Molisa, James Renwick, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and SPREP's Kosi Latu.

PCCC2018 team organisers with keynote speaker Samoa PM Tuilaepa (centre) and VUW’s Pala Molisa, James Renwick, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and SPREP's Kosi Latu. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Dominic Godfrey

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