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World's Ocean Could Rise Higher, Sooner, Faster Than Most Thought Possible


#1

World's Ocean Could Rise Higher, Sooner, Faster Than Most Thought Possible

Jon Queally, staff writer

If a new scientific paper is proven accurate, the international target of limiting global temperatures to a 2C rise this century will not be nearly enough to prevent catastrophic melting of ice sheets that would raise sea levels much higher and much faster than previously thought possible.


#2

This material is the stuff of sci-fi coming to life. Still, I would add that not ALL criteria are being fed into the computer models in use. In other words, there are other variables factoring into those complex feedback loops:

"...current predictions about the catastrophic impacts of global warming, the melting of vast ice sheets, and sea level rise do not take into account the feedback loop implications of what will occur if large sections of the Greenland and Antarctic are consumed by the world's oceans."

The recent uptick in volcanic activity--several long latent "fire-breathers" erupting virtually overnight--and what an atmosphere newly infused with volcanic ash might mean could act as temporary offset. This, in turn, would give humanity a 2nd warning bell and slight time interval in which to make accommodations and changes in collective energy usage patterns.


#3

Good, I don't want to have to hold my breath for long waiting for this.
I want to see conservatives squirm. I want to see them lie about how they really were trying to do something, the denials that they put forth to avoid blame. I want to see them completely lose all credibility as publicly and unavoidably as possible.


#4

A pervasive distortion in discussions of sea-level rise is the year 2100 benchmark. Every authority knows sea level rise for centuries is already "baked in" by cumulative carbon emissions. The 2100 benchmark arose as a basis for discussions, but it creates the illusion that the seas will magically stop rising after 2100.

The real question is: "How much sea-level rise will eventually result from the amount of carbon dumped into the atmosphere?" Whether it happens in 15, 50, or 150 years is academic.


#6

Chemtrails conspiracists seem to think they're all on the same page, but actually there are three camps:

(1) Those who say chemtrails are a plot to warm the Earth, to create the illusion of global warming.

(2) Those who say chemtrails are a plot to cool the Earth, to mask the full consequences of global warming.

(3) Those who are unsure how the chemtrails conspiracy works, but certain that something fishy is going on.


#7

Mossonarock - People should call them on the crap they spout now because just as you say, later they will squirm out of having been wrong for so long. That is the way of the media memory pit where everything can be made to disappear.


#8

AlephNull - I disagree. The rate at which sea levels will rise in the next thirty years is critical. The total amount that they will rise after that is actually what will be academic because by then we will all see the danger and destruction and have started to deal with it. A catastrophic rapid rise in thirty years will outpace us... and that will not be academic by any stretch of the imagination!


#9

Bluv - Scary isn't it? the idea that a few people can ignore the dangers and subject the whole world (not just our species) to a irreversible gamble to attempt to correct a lack of action on climate change while it still mattered.

Geoengineering is humanity's doubling down on climate change... if it works then maybe we break even but if it doesn't (much more likely) then we end up being much worse off than we would have been if we had never tried to go for the quick fix.

I pity the young.


#10

People seem to always forget that we've already locked ourselves into 2°C of global warming. Once the Faustian bargain with industrial civilization ends and aerosols fall from the atmosphere, we'll immediately have a jump in global temperature of roughly 1.2°C. Then residual warming will continue for decades due to CO2 lag time resulting in another 0.6°C of warming. These two factors are a certainty and already equal 2°C, but they do not account for all the positive feedback loops which could greatly amplify warming far into the future. Then there is the fact that we simply won't and can't stop our emissions cold turkey because of a variety of factors limiting large-scale renewable energy projects. The embodied costs of our roads, buildings, and infrastructure are colossal which is why we see them deteriorating before our eyes. We don't have the energy to maintain them properly. We're on a treadmill running as fast as we can, but little by little we're losing our foothold. Diminishing EROI, the environmental costs of our energy intensive way of life, and a still rising population clamoring for First World living are ensuring that the entire system is headed for a reckoning with the limits to growth.


#11

I am afraid you may be too optimistic.
They will still be in denial with the water level up to their conservative necks.

Look at how they are still in denial about what we did to Iraq. Jeb still thinks it was a good idea!


#12

Geologists a long time ago grappled with gradualist and catastrophist explanations for the earth's properties. The answer was the combo platter. Having watched tipping points drastically change ecosystems, I am surprised by little. Floods and droughts have never been more than the hubris of humans expecting the status quo. It ain't necessarily so...


#13

I've never quite understood the "conspiracists" smear. Are those still seeking the truth regarding the JFK assassination all to be labeled "conspiracists" in a derogatory tone? Or has that matter been definitively settled such that any one still questioning those events can be labeled with the "conpiracist" psychological pathology?

I do know how you feel about truthers, so no need to go there.

Regarding "chemtrails". I have taken note on many occasions in San Diego CA blue skies being crossed by high altitude jets leaving contrails that grow eventually into clouds that within hours cover the sky from horizon to horizon. I've taken note of there being 4, then 10, then 20 over the time span of just a few hours.

I don't think questioning what is going on, and inquiring as to the true nature of contrails versus "chemtrails" makes one a candidate for possessing a particular psychological pathology.


#14

I think we'd have to start shooting psychopaths before we'd get any action. They'd continue to sell fossil combustibles because they don't care about what will happen after they're dead. As long as it doesn't happen while they're still alive, that's all that counts.


#15

When the truth is terrifying, truth tellers are terrorists.


#16

Do you have a cite for that number? I ask because the last time I looked, Hansen was saying the contribution of the aerosols is a major lacuna in our understanding of what would happen if unnecessary combustion were banned.


#17

The world as we knew it is over and it is only a matter of a few short years before the world as we have made it takes over.

We just can't seem to deal with that big a change as a species. We never evolved to comprehend everything changing so rapidly. Rising sea level/drowned cities? What is this a 50's horror flick? Where are the radio]active mutants and giant ants?

But it is real nevertheless and we - humanity - aren't ready to deal with it. We can't conceive of it. We can't believe it is even true despite a melting North Pole and ever stronger storms, unending droughts and summer heat that kills. We can't believe it is true because... well ... because we just can't believe it that's all! We thus condemn our children and grandchildren to see it. They will have no choice but to believe it.

What they won't believe is how we could have kept delaying doing something to mitigate the worst of climate change while we still had a chance!

They will quote studies like this one say that we knew! What they won't believe is that we still couldn't face that it was actually happening ... that it was so real - so fast - so devastating because as the studies show... we actually did but pretended we didn't.

Old dogs and new tricks... evolutionarily ... a lousy combination.


#18

It would be interesting to scrutinize what we mean by "outpace us."

In terms of ecosystems, there's little question that the rate of impending sea level rise will be like nothing evolution has ever had to deal with. It might be two or twenty times faster than any precedent, but after all, extinction is extinction.

In terms of human systems, how could we possibly keep pace with any rate of chronic sea level rise? All we can do (in some places, not in Miami where the substrate is porous) is hold off the sea for five or fifty years with carbon-intensive (ultimately counter-productive, and futile) seawalls. Beyond that, it's about moving inland, which will happen more or less rapidly... it's academic.


#19

It's reasonable to demand of conspiracists (i.e. people who allege a far-flung conspiracy - not derogatory unless you make it so) a coherent narrative. To have no idea whether chemtrails are used to warm or cool the Earth, but a firm idea that "they" are up to something, is conspiracism for conspiracism's sake. Politically, this has the effect of disempowering ordinary folks, whose agency is derogated.


#20

The "species" isn't one big group think. There are millions trying to educate, protest, come up with sustainable economic models, figure out how to possibly counter the entrenched power of those who profit most from carbon centric economies, et al.

Perhaps those who do get it, and are trying to do something about it aren't actually human.


#21

AlephNull - Sounds simple to hear you say it. Tidy and neat, pack up and move to Iowa? Boy are you in for a surprise. We are talking human beings here. We are neither saints nor in many cases even sane? Yeah really. We are nuts and thirty years from now do you know what people will be screaming out?

"They knew! They knew about it all the time and did nothing for the little people! They've abandoned us to misery and..." Well you get the idea. Thirty years? 300 million plus climate refugees from the inundated areas alone overwhelm the ability of already overpopulated refugee camps to hold them. Thirty years? Crops are becoming casualties themselves in many parts of the world. The ocean's are devoid of fish and shellfish. Climate storm damage exceeds the budgets for infrastructure replacement due to maintaining coastal flooding projects and sea walls.

Thirty years on and Venice attempts to move whole buildings inland to higher ground destruction is complete.

Thirty years?

Who has thirty years anyway. What if there is a catastrophic release of Greenland's or Antarctica's ice? It could happen. Like a super gigantic iceberg calving off the main glacier.

Thirty years... to all who will see it... Good Luck!