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Global Sea Level Likely to Rise as Much as 70 Feet for Future Generations

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Even if humankind manages to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends, future generations will have to deal with sea levels 12 to 22 meters (40 to 70 feet) higher than at present, according to research published in the journal Geology.

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That looks like an interesting article, but I only read the abstract since I'm too cheap to pay for the full article. Did you notice the other article further down the list at the link you provided?

T. Cowton, P. Nienow, I. Bartholomew, A. Sole, and D. Mair - Rapid erosion beneath the Greenland ice sheet

I wonder if the rapid, melt-water induced, erosion has the postential to destabilize areas of the ice sheet. Certainly the melt-water transfers heat to the glacial ice it contacts. And ice loses structural integrity as it nears its melting point. Add to that the erosion of the surface beneath the ice and it could be an unstable situation. I'll see if I can find any relevant papers.

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That looks like an interesting article, but I only read the abstract since I'm too cheap to pay for the full article. Did you notice the other article further down the list at the link you provided?

T. Cowton, P. Nienow, I. Bartholomew, A. Sole, and D. Mair - Rapid erosion beneath the Greenland ice sheet

I wonder if the rapid, melt-water induced, erosion has the postential to destabilize areas of the ice sheet. Certainly the melt-water transfers heat to the glacial ice it contacts. And ice loses structural integrity as it nears its melting point. Add to that the erosion of the surface beneath the ice and it could be an unstable situation. I'll see if I can find any relevant papers.

Ice nearing it's melting point becomes soft and malleable. The great weight of the overlying glacial mass encounters less frictional resistance in the softer ice/surface boundary in addition to the lubricating effect of the liquid water. This allows for an increase in the flow rate of the moving glacier. Once sped up, the glacier's increased inertia should be very difficult to slow, especially if increasing rates of surface melt water drop through crevasses as the climate continues to warm.

Apparently the sediment flux examined by these researchers indicates this process of ice movement/bed erosion is well underway and aligns well with the GRACE finding of ice mass loss and the independent GPS observations of increasing glacial flow toward the ocean.

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Prep the life boats!!!! Seriously tho we are talking thousands of years here and that's only if everything stays on the trend up.

Yes, but a foot or two over the next century will not happen without great cost and inconvenience. Sea level rose an average of 6 inches over the 20th century and that rate is expected only to increase.

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Yes, but a foot or two over the next century will not happen without great cost and inconvenience. Sea level rose an average of 6 inches over the 20th century and that rate is expected only to increase.

Key word inconvenience. People will need to move when and if that time comes but i don't believe that the rise will be so fast that no one will be able to prepare for it or adapt in which ever way that will be.

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Key word inconvenience. People will need to move when and if that time comes but i don't believe that the rise will be so fast that no one will be able to prepare for it or adapt in which ever way that will be.

how long do you think it will take to relocate NYC?

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Prep the life boats!!!! Seriously tho we are talking thousands of years here and that's only if everything stays on the trend up.

So - are you saying it's okay to trigger a disaster so long as someone else has to deal with the consequences and clean it up? What an interesting philosophy to live by - identical in many respects to the ethos of the 9-11 hijackers who knew it wasn't going to be them having to clean up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Or - are you saying that because ice sheet melting is a slow-motion disaster (compared to, say, dumping toxic waste) that that somehow reduces our collective responsibility to avert it if we can?

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I think people miss the political implications of mass relocations. It isn't just a matter of how fast the water rises.

Shishmaref, Alaska has a population of 563 people and it is estimated that relocating them will cost $180 million... and that's not to mention the fights that will break out when residents force themselves into other countries.

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how long do you think it will take to relocate NYC?

Considering it will take hundreds to thousands years to get to that point there is plenty of time and is only if worst case scenario happens. Hows New Orleans doing sitting 6ft below sea level?

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So - are you saying it's okay to trigger a disaster so long as someone else has to deal with the consequences and clean it up? What an interesting philosophy to live by - identical in many respects to the ethos of the 9-11 hijackers who knew it wasn't going to be them having to clean up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Or - are you saying that because ice sheet melting is a slow-motion disaster (compared to, say, dumping toxic waste) that that somehow reduces our collective responsibility to avert it if we can?

I do believe in renewable energy and cleaning up our act no question about it. I also think that yes it is a slow motion so to say disaster that we will have plenty of time to make changes this all based on temps continuing to climb. But i also believe at the moment there are more important things that we need to worry about besides a couple degree rise in temps. Some of you act like we are not already taking steps to clean up our act and find better ways for energy etc and again ill toot the technology horn.

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Considering it will take hundreds to thousands years to get to that point there is plenty of time and is only if worst case scenario happens. Hows New Orleans doing sitting 6ft below sea level?

not enough: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-2391648.html

and how long do you think it will take to relocate millions of people and thousands of businesses in NYC? where are they going to go? live? work?

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not enough: http://www.cbsnews.c...62-2391648.html

and how long do you think it will take to relocate millions of people and thousands of businesses in NYC? where are they going to go? live? work?

Of course it will take time will it be easy no but nobody is going to die from it. Where are they going to go any city or state they choose.

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Of course it will take time will it be easy no but nobody is going to die from it. Where are they going to go any city or state they choose.

how do you relocate the American Museum of Natural History? the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Time Warner? American Express?

where is the housing for the workforce? the infrastructure? the public school facilities?

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lol, it's my reply but for real^

I'm beginning to think we have yet another useless troll crapping up discussions in this forum. :(

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Prep the life boats!!!! Seriously tho we are talking thousands of years here and that's only if everything stays on the trend up.

Sea level rise is likely to be on the order of 30 feet in the next 300-400 years from what I have read. Not thousands of years.

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how do you relocate the American Museum of Natural History? the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Time Warner? American Express?

where is the housing for the workforce? the infrastructure? the public school facilities?

You seem to imply that it's impossible. Yes it will be a high price to pay but it can be done.

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Sea level rise is likely to be on the order of 30 feet in the next 300-400 years from what I have read. Not thousands of years.

That would be worst case scenario no? Sea level rise would have to double every century to see something like that as weather rusty said there was around 6'' rise for the 20th century but i do know that you are very educated about it all so maybe i am wrong.

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It is evident from the distant past that a global temperature 2 or 3C warmer than present does not support a glaciated Greenland and sea levels would eventually reach something like 70 feet above today's level. This would progress over the course of centuries to millennia.

Coastal communities will not wait until they are fully inundated before attempting relocation. Progressively more invasive storm surges and high tides will force action well before the end game for any given local. What happens when the New York City subway system is first flooded with sea water during a rough storm? Then to realize that is only the beginning as the ocean inches further inland as the decades pass by.

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You seem to imply that it's impossible. Yes it will be a high price to pay but it can be done.

I think you're absolutely right about the price to adapt to rising sea levels - it will be high. Particularly if we make the problem worse by continuing to dump gigatons of GHGs into the atmosphere.

So who do you think will have to pay that price? The same ones who paid to have New Orleans' levees rebuilt after Katrina, i.e. the American taxpayer? How much of a tax increase are you, personally, willing to endure? So far the New Orleans levee work has cost us taxpayers around $15,000,000,000 and that represents a tiny fraction, much less than 1%, of what it will cost to protect or move America's coastal urban areas.

You may already be aware that we taxpayers are subsidizing insurance for coastal deveopment - actively encouraging new development in areas we know will be subject to inundation from storms and rising sea levels. When these coastal communities and resorts have to be abandoned - who do you think will get handed that bill, too?

So - are you up for doubling or tripling your state and federal taxes?

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I think you're absolutely right about the price to adapt to rising sea levels - it will be high. Particularly if we make the problem worse by continuing to dump gigatons of GHGs into the atmosphere.

So who do you think will have to pay that price? The same ones who paid to have New Orleans' levees rebuilt after Katrina, i.e. the American taxpayer? How much of a tax increase are you, personally, willing to endure? So far the New Orleans levee work has cost us taxpayers around $15,000,000,000 and that represents a tiny fraction, much less than 1%, of what it will cost to protect or move America's coastal urban areas.

You may already be aware that we taxpayers are subsidizing insurance for coastal deveopment - actively encouraging new development in areas we know will be subject to inundation from storms and rising sea levels. When these coastal communities and resorts have to be abandoned - who do you think will get handed that bill, too?

So - are you up for doubling or tripling your state and federal taxes?

I do believe at a certain point in the future if temps and sea level continue to rise areas that are at risk should be prohibited from building. I look at it that we the tax payers are going to have to pay either way. Will it be double or triple you can't say that for sure but there can be other ways to also come up with money like the billions we give out to other countries for aid etc every year.

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I do believe at a certain point in the future if temps and sea level continue to rise areas that are at risk should be prohibited from building. I look at it that we the tax payers are going to have to pay either way. Will it be double or triple you can't say that for sure but there can be other ways to also come up with money like the billions we give out to other countries for aid etc every year.

So we will be forced to pull back on foreign aid (using money we don't have) just when the places that need it most will be crying desperately for help. The seas will be rising over there too.

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So we will be forced to pull back on foreign aid (using money we don't have) just when the places that need it most will be crying desperately for help. The seas will be rising over there too.

I don't know the details of what the money is exactly spent on but for the ones that are not for food aid then yes we should we need to take care of our own people and country first don't you agree?

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I don't know the details of what the money is exactly spent on but for the ones that are not for food aid then yes we should we need to take care of our own people and country first don't you agree?

Yes I do agree with that. Even now we are a debtor nation and probably should scale back our aid and military presence if economics were the sole motivator for such things. We have enormous problems in this country we can not afford to deal with now, let alone trying to feed, medicate and keep peace in the rest of the world. One thing I believe we do need to do as a country is to invest in the development and deployment of advanced, modern technologies, especially in the energy sector, rather than trying to repair broken down, inefficient, century old systems.

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Sea level rises of 15-30 more ft over the next few thousands years shouldnt surprise anyone and were going to happen even if man had never evolved if this interglacial is anything like the last few.....10,000 years ago sea levels were 200-300 ft LOWER than they are right now, go back a 100,000 years they were 30 ft higher than they are right now...thats a huge swing in what in geologic time is a blink of the eye. I know you guys understand that sea levels have never been and never will be static and are always changing to some degree. Even if it raises 30 ft over a few hundred years there will be plenty of time and money to move whatever needs to be moved.

Imagine how big a pain in the ass the next glaciation is gonna be when sea levels drop several hundred feet and all the worlds major port cities are left high and dry, anyways all this hand wringing over something that may happen years after every single person reading this is dead is silly. Sea levels are always going to change up and down and we will as always adapt and overcome.

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Sea level rises of 15-30 more ft over the next few thousands years shouldnt surprise anyone and were going to happen even if man had never evolved if this interglacial is anything like the last few.....10,000 years ago sea levels were 200-300 ft LOWER than they are right now, go back a 100,000 years they were 30 ft higher than they are right now...thats a huge swing in what in geologic time is a blink of the eye. I know you guys understand that sea levels have never been and never will be static and are always changing to some degree. Even if it raises 30 ft over a few hundred years there will be plenty of time and money to move whatever needs to be moved.

Imagine how big a pain in the ass the next glaciation is gonna be when sea levels drop several hundred feet and all the worlds major port cities are left high and dry, anyways all this hand wringing over something that may happen years after every single person reading this is dead is silly. Sea levels are always going to change up and down and we will as always adapt and overcome.

Much of what you claim is generally true (excepting the bolded), however the onset of the next glacial period is likely many thousands of years in the future according to Milankovitch theory. Without a warming of 2-3C over the coming decades being sustained for centuries there would be no chance of sea levels rising by several dozen feet as soon as is being talked about here.

Change always occurs, but we stand to bring about change at a pace and magnitude nature alone would not make happen.....but then you may choose to ignore or deny this potential, or we can wait several more decades just to be sure...

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Rising sea level and storm surges were certainly dealt with well in the Louisiana area a few years back. I'd have to assume we'd do as well in the future.

If you think sea level is going to rise 15 feet in a day, think again. Plus, that area is below sea level right now.

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