These changes would certainly help stave off some of the worst-case scenarios for sea-level rise, but researchers have also found that that rise is unlikely to end by the year 2100. It involves a slow discovery of a new equilibrium between the planet’s temperature and its ice and oceans that would play out over hundreds to thousands of years, meaning that we are committed to it for a long time, although the rate and extent of rise will depend on the rate and extent of warming itself.

“Even if temperature will be constant, sea level will continue to rise for a few hundred years, that’s what we know,” said Jevrejeva.

In some places in the world, the study points to the possibility of a particularly devastating combination — sharp sea-level rise combined with major land subsidence because people are drawing so much drinking water out of the ground. Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, is actually forecast to subside by over 6 feet just by the year 2025, an effect that would dramatically compound the consequences of the se- level rising all around it.

One outside researcher who was familiar with the work said it seemed to fit our current understanding well. “The numbers look reasonable,” said Rutgers University sea-level rise expert Robert Kopp, who was not involved in the current study. Kopp said other research, for instance examining sea-level risk facing the coast of New Jersey, finds something similar: for instance, a 50 percent chance of a 1.4 foot or greater rise by 2050.

And even small rises in sea level can translate into more damage, said Jevrejeva. “Small changes in sea-level rise will significantly change what happens during extremes, during hurricanes, during tropical cyclones, during storm surges,” she said.