The Met Office has halved its “worst case” prediction for rising sea levels, in the latest instance of scientists being caught out for overstating the possible consequences of global warming.
Previously scientists had said oceans could rise by up to 13ft (4m) threatening cities like Shanghai, London and New York by 2100.
But it has been revised so that now the worse case scenario is just over 6ft 6in (2m). This is still unlikely, but would mean the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and Tuvalu in the Pacific could be lost forever.
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The most likely sea level rise this century remains between 8 and 23 inches (20-60cm), causing devastation in small island states and low lying countries like Bangladesh.
The report also found that the Atlantic Conveyer belt is not slowing down as much as previously thought.
The circulation of currents, also known as the Gulf Stream, keeps Britain warm and it was feared that if it slows down suddenly it could cause a ‘second ice age’.
The scenario was used in the Day After Tomorrow film and has even been blamed for the recent cold snaps, but it appears it is unlikely to affect Britain this century.