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James Hansen's Climate Bombshell: Dangerous Sea Level Rise Will Occur in Decades, Not Centuries


James Hansen's Climate Bombshell: Dangerous Sea Level Rise Will Occur in Decades, Not Centuries

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Dr. James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who is widely credited with being one of the first to raise concerns about human-caused global warming, is a co-author of a new report predicting that the world will undergo devastating sea level rise within mere decades—not centuries, as previously thought.


Hansen has been too accurate in his predictions in the past to be ignored. This latest prediction from Hansen may be based on a number of uncertain events happening but he could turn out to be on the mark. Such a rapid increase in sea level would seem to be the most devastating thing that climate change could cause this century. In future centuries things could even get much worse.


New research shows that the rate that warmer seas are undercutting the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica is happening more rapidly than has been predicted. This corroborates Hansen’s estimates and validate his concerns.

What this could mean is that there could be a catastrophic climate event in the relative near future. Specifically that there could be a collapse of the Antarctic shelf area that would initiate a massive glacier advance to the sea by the land supported ice. The ice cap itself could be far more unstable than we calculate due to warmer temps in the interior. The concept of ice caps floating above a subsurface layer of meltwater ‘lakes’ is particularly worrisome.

We seem poised before catastrophe and yet we have politicians throwing snowballs in the senate mocking the idea of global warming. For those who have known and those who have learned the Antarctic melt that was supposed to start a thousand years from now … started in earnest ten years ago.

Meanwhile this ‘winter that wasn’t’ will mean what in the summer Arctic?


Global catastrophe. You’d think a phrase like that would stir something inside a person. Nope. Climate calamity, collapse of civilization, 6th great extinction… Nothing.

Ignorance, laziness, insanity, and unmitigated greed. That’s how the world ends. It ends because nobody gives a shit.


We need to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy, both here and abroad. The plutocrats must get their profits because they are our ruling class. There is enough work to do to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy to keep our working class busy. Let us get going on this and NOT just stand there like deer hypnotized by car headlights.


You make a valid observation but is it how the world ends? I agree that it sure looks like it is due to the motivations you listed but I would add one more. Many people are already desperate and many more are barely able to eke out an existence and have nothing left to spare in their lives to deal with climate change that they don’t cause and can do very little about anyway.

That leaves us (including Siouxrose) … We in the west with our electronic universe and plush lives and fat bodies. Us - we - the him toos and the her toos - we whether voluntary or not. How do we get us to stop doing what we don’t need for this world? We want to but we don’t listen. We protest but we don’t enact the legislation despite promising to do so. We create an EPA but we hamstring it so that it can’t function. What the hell are we doing we ask and the answer is … [quote=“Raibos, post:6, topic:20054”]
It ends because nobody gives a shit.

All can say is that some us do even if it looks like some of us don’t. We try do what is right even if we also do what is wrong. We are people and that’s what we are like. Some do and some don’t sometimes - some more and some less!

I believe that in the end that the truth wins. You can tell a lie for a long long time but in the end it still never becomes the truth and people who want the truth will find it. Climate change will not go away and it can’t be hidden either. That truth is there for all to see if THEY keep denying it. Things are changing and the mass of humanity is becoming aware of the dangers so now we are in a race against those of us who don’t give a…and are greedy and are lazy and unaware. They won’t win… But it is a race to save what we can… But the end? Nah! We are dumb but even the greedy want to survive.

P.S. Please don’t let Siouxrose hurt me. I indent easily.


Isn’t it amazing that the greedy are unwilling to make so much money? Renewables will soon be making somebody huge fortunes and yet they stall on it! I guess it must be politicians maybe? Mental inertia and a resistance to change maybe?

There is this huge market ready and waiting to generate billions in wealth as well as generate energy and they pretend it doesn’t exist. As soon as one of the smarter ones says ‘Chuck this crap! There is big money to be made manufacturing, selling and installing solar and wind everywhere. I am investing in it and getting a leg up on the eventuality that will happen anyway no matter what and I’ll be first’ …

Then there will be a gold rush towards renewables… I just wish that they’d hurry up.


You’re right that people are too busy to really invest any time on this issue. Too bad that such excuses won’t work against the greenhouse effect. “I was too busy struggling for daily survival and basic material comforts to worry about my kids’ future.” Yep… No effect at all…

We’re out of time. You got that right. The truth will certainly win in the end. You got that right too. We’ll be lucky to make it to 2050. I’ve spent an enormous amount of time on this issue. Take my word for it: just because you’re right doesn’t mean you won’t lose.

However, I’m convinced… Nobody gives a shit, dude. I’m not talking about you, and me, and the true believers. I’m saying that if you went out into the streets tonight to convert deniers, you’d probably score exactly zero followers by dawn, and you’d lose them as soon as they turned on their MSM news source. It’s the vogue to not give a shit. It’s what the cool people are doing: Not giving a shit. You won’t climb up in society talking about climate change. If action were required, our leaders and the television people would surely tell us, right? Right??? (Pro Tip: No, they wouldn’t. It’s all about keeping the machines turned on.)


I hear you and up until recently and over a long span of decades where I was the doom and gloom guy in chief, I’d make the guy wearing the End Is Near sign feel like he was an optimist about the climate. I still feel that way about the climate but these days I am actually feeling a bit more optimistic myself.

It has to do with the fact that people have actually changed. Sure ten years ago most people would still say things like “I’m not totally convinced that climate change is so real because there are scientists who say it isn’t!”

Now practically no one believes that anymore. Except for the politically challenged who know it is true but won’t admit that for political reasons virtually everybody knows that climate change is real. Ten years big VERY big difference.

Secondly we have recently seen (despite some setbacks) the beginning of the end of fossil fuels starting with coal. There are more investment dollars going into solar and wind than into new fossil fuel plants… Another VERY big change!

People and institutions are divesting from fossil fuels left and right (literally and politically) the propaganda about peak oil has been replaced by cheap oil because people want alternatives and the writing is on the wall.

All that within a few short years. New developments in efficient thin film inexpensive solar are coming on the market soon. Think solar window shades and blinds, solar beach umbrellas, solar hats actually charging the phone in your pocket by induction or simply by body contact…lol. Solar and wind powered trains and cars and whatever… Yay! Double plus good Yay!!!

We may not escape the bad stuff …we have waited and still do wait after all. The viscious storms and destructive surges and flooded coasts. We may see oceans empty of fish even but we won’t see the end is my feeling. The end of the easy living (such as it was) Earth and the advent of the hard times of famine and fury Earth …yes that is true …but we will heal and the Earth will abide! I now feel pretty sure about that because these last ten years have been unexpectedly rapid in changing the equations. Better solar and wind in ten more years and better solar and wind after twenty years until we turn the tide even if we couldn’t stop rising sea levels. Hard times are coming fast but not the end times.

So I’ll be the one where the sign reads >>> Hard Times Are Nigh!

but IMO …the end ain’t over.


Anybody who has been to Miami during high tide in recent years will concur that “will occur” is the wrong tense.


Yeah, I’m pretty sure we don’t have another 10 or 20 years to wait. It’s true that we’re making (some) progress, and technology will surely improve in that time period, but right now? It’s not nearly enough, nor soon enough. Now is exactly the wrong time to relax and/or take your eye off the ball.


Two things happen… The sane people continue fighting to make the necessary changes to avoid the worst of climate change!


The blindly corrupt and voluntarily poorly informed succeed in delaying swift action on climate change (like that retroactive reversal on solar net metering in Nevada for example) and some f’n horrible catastrophe occurs which finally scares even the most obtuse into wanting to get off fossil fuels.

Out there in the NEAR future is a f’n Katrina/Sandy type mega hurricane that will kill a lot of people and destroy trillions in property and so forth. What if a 15 ft. storm surge hits Miami? Or a super sized storm like Sandy hits the northeast again but this time with high winds which Sandy didn’t have (that’s how lucky we were … Sandy didn’t have high winds!

I think if Bernie gets elected that the world will begin to work together to save our collective rears but if Hillary gets elected she will not do nearly enough to make a difference (because that is hard to do against people from whom you accepted lots of money) or if Trump with his denialism gets in then I think we could actually lose ground and go backwards.




Yep, I agree with your political assessment. Sanders can change the dialogue, which is vital. Hillary won’t do much of importance, Trump (gag!) or Cruz (gag! again) will make things even worse. Either way, we can’t expect miracles from an obstructionist congress and senate.

Would some crazy weather events change the dialogue? Maybe? I doubt it, but in a slow news cycle? Maybe. It’s definitely worth a try. A nice, long, ball-breaking drought in the USA would open a few eyes…

We’re definitely at a crossroads. This is THE critical election, fo’ shizzle. We’re out of time, and flat out of second chances when it comes to climate change.

If I had to lay odds? I’d say we’ve got about a 5-10% chance of saving the world. That’s my most optimistic estimate. Everyone needs hope. False hope will do in a pinch.

Ok, so the choir is on board with this… :slight_smile:


Bye bye Manhattan . . . good riddance. Maybe we’ll get some people who care after our rigged corporate financial system stops running the country.


Doesn’t Trump want to eliminate the EPA? What a setback if that happens. Can’t really imagine that happening but if it did that would set us back pre-Nixon. Of course Cruz also wants to eliminate the EPA and several other federal agencies.


I figure a sudden unexpected event like a superstorm. After Sandy people are waiting to see what happens. In America we never notice a small detail like those massive super sized typhoons that hit the Philipines One Two And Three - one after the other almost all at once three in the Pacific. America says oh that’s over there like they are excused from it being important. Sandy came after Katrina so the sequence was Katrina took people by surprise but years went by. Sandy was so big that it scared people but we really got lucky that it had relatively mild winds. We get a thousand twisters in a month… Also made people start to wonder. So here we are poised on getting real scared but willing to go back to sleep.

If there is a big storm this season - a bad one - people will start pressuring Washington big time. This winter that wasn’t hasn’t been the only warm winter but this one was hard to ignore for everybody. This was the winter that wasn’t and it is fresh in people’s minds. A big storm will make the connections that people sense but are hoping as yet that they aren’t proof.

Perhaps that is what it will take. A killer storm, killer forest fires, killer droughts, killer heat in summer…? The thing is that I am not saying it won’t be terrible. I think it will be horrendous seriously crippling all the way around but not the end. We are a very creative species and while we are greedy and abysmally stupid sometimes … We tend to come together when disaster strikes.

And new advances in renewables are really encouraging like never before.


I know, It’s like you are speaking another language… I swear… and the thing I do not understand is that people everywhere, just go about their business as if everything is completely normal… not like we are facing the biggest challenge that humanity has ever had… this challenge takes every thing that can be done, which INCLUDES… changing our BEHAVIORS… why do we continue the think we can just DO anything we want…sure, go ahead make and use your renewables… but, if we continue to allow for the most ridiculous uses of ff’s … then, well, we won’t change a athing…


Well said!


I didn’t like how my comment posted. I wanted to say “well said!” in that really… people are just too lazy these days and just don’t give a shit. I think you’re pretty spot-on as far as how much time we have left. Although, I think we already passed the rubicon ten to fifteen years ago. I love Wereflea but I just don’t think there’s hope left. Sorry… I’ve just read too many reports on scientific data… and physics doesn’t lie. The bus has gone off the cliff. We’re in free fall now and we’re just waiting for the lethal crash to hit us all. And it will be in our lifetimes… bummer…