The Earth could become “practically ungovernable” because of sea level rise, Nasa’s former head of climate research, Professor James Hansen, has warned.
Professor Hansen, who was among the first scientists to alert politicians and the public to the risks posed by climate change, told New York Magazine that he doubted the atmosphere would warm by four or five degrees Celsius by the end of this century – the upper end of current projections, which would likely end human civilisation as we know it.
However he said the biggest problem would be sea level rise. Professor Hanson was an author of a scientific paper published last year which warned that continued high fossil fuel emissions could increase sea levels by “several meters over a timescale of 50 to 150 years”.
This is significantly higher than the latest expert report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which forecast a range from about 30cm to …