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Study Assesses Impact of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants on Sea-Level Rise

UNEP17 April 2013: A study published by Nature Climate Change concludes that sea-level rise can be cut by reducing local air pollution from four short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), namely black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The research initative, led by V. Ramanathan, Chair of the Atmospheric Brown Cloud programme of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), calculated that the annual rate of sea-level rise could be reduced up to 24% by 2100 by controlling these four climate pollutants, and that cumulative sea-level rise could be reduced by 22%.  It indicates that cutting both SLCPs and carbon dioxide can avoid 2.3°C of warming, keep temperature increases under 2°C, and reduce the rate of sea-level rise by up to 50%.

UNEP underlines that the damage from rising seas and higher storm surges is one of the most visible and costly impacts of climate change. It adds that flooding and storm surges are projected to become more frequent and stronger as a result of climate change. [Nature Climate Change Study] [UNEP Press Release]