SOURCE: Insurance Journal

DATE: April 12, 2016

AUTHOR: Don Jergler

SNIP: Sea levels could rise by much more than originally anticipated, and much faster, according to new data being collected by scientists studying the melting West Antarctic ice sheet—a massive sheet the size of Mexico.

That revelation was made by an official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday at the annual RIMS conference for risk management and insurance professionals in San Diego, Calif.

The conference is being attended by more than 10,000 people, according to organizers. It was day No. 3 of the conference, which ends Wednesday.

Margaret Davidson, NOAA’s senior advisor for coastal inundation and resilience science and services, and Michael Angelina, executive director of the Academy of Risk Management and Insurance, offered their take on climate change data in a conference session titled “Environmental Intelligence: Quantifying the Risks of Climate Change.”

Davidson said recent data that has been collected but has yet to be made official indicates sea levels could rise by roughly 3 meters or 9 feet by 2050-2060, far higher and quicker than current projections. Until now most projections have warned of seal level rise of up to 4 feet by 2100.