Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Earth Stats Science

Seas Rising Faster Than Projected 605

New submitter zenyu writes "IPCC's 2mm per year estimate for sea level rise at current CO2 levels has proven too optimistic. Sea levels have been rising 3.2mm per year in the last two decades. The IPCC's 50 cm — 100 cm projection for the next century may prove equally optimistic."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Seas Rising Faster Than Projected

Comments Filter:
  • One consistent theme (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:15AM (#42114785)
    Every estimate has been overly optimistic. Can anyone see a problem with this? Essentially throw out the best case scenario and look at the worst case scenario as the baseline. Anyone not panicked at the thought of this IS A FOOL! After a decade plus of denial we come out with the worst case scenario is our best case. Basically three foot of ocean level rise is the best we can hope for and the likely result is twice that. Kiss all that coastal property goodbye! Forget all that because it mostly affects rich people. Just look at the Great Lakes. They stand at record levels. Remember this ISN'T the bad this is the best we can expect for the next 100 years and it may get worse after that. Drought is likely to be the norm not to mention storms damage. In 10 or 20 years the conservatives will blame the liberals for not telling them how bad it could get. Okay from a liberal here's how bad it can get, ever see Road Warrior???? That's bad. Good is probably Soylent Green. Any questions????
  • Re:I've given up (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:39AM (#42114873)

    So let's all party for tomorrow we may die.

    I agree with you that fixing the climate requires too much of a short-term sacrifice to be politically feasible. The only way to reach a sustainable equilibrium is to drastically reduce the world population, maybe to 300 million. Even if you managed to implement it humanely (single-child policy Chinese-style), it would take a couple of centuries to take effect because people are living longer all the time. As hundreds of millions of Asians are (hopefully) lifted out of poverty and achieve a well-earned Western lifestyle, the emissions will accelerate until we run out of coal.

    However, I don't think you will be among the first to die. I believe the main culprits will also be safest from the repercussions. Expect the poor in India and Africa to do the dying.

  • Re:I've given up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @06:08AM (#42114999)

    > I'm pessimistic about our ability to solve this problem, but I'm mildly optimistic about the coping part. We can easily adapt. New technologies will deal with the problems we're likely to face. The worst part would still be the politics of it. There is too much friction in resource allocation, which will make it very hard to help threatened populations. There is even more political friction if you want to relocate them.

    There's no coping. There's NO coping at all.

    It's not about what we do about our populations. We are extremely on bees -- and that's ONE species... but we live in a complex mesh of ecologic relations.

    With sea acidification and massive coast ecosystems death, next will be animals and plants on land -- coffee? ha! You'll be lucky if rice and wheat can somehow adapt and still we won't be able to survive on these alone.

    With possibly a complex chain of ecosystem failures -- who knows how many, maybe thousands -- and our reactive capacity will be overwhelmed.

    Even if we resort to the worse within us, I'm pessimistic about the winners' chances...

  • by WhiteSpade ( 959060 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @06:30AM (#42115091)

    Just look at the Great Lakes. They stand at record levels.

    Do you mean record lows or highs? Because the way it's written seems to indicate you think they're at record highs, and that is not the case at all. I am originally from Wisconsin, and dropping lake levels has been a concern for a long time and this year saw a record low for Lake Michigan. The states surrounding the lakes have been actively trying to protect and increase the lake levels, since they had been dropping for so long. Many states (read: the southwest) wanted to run a pipeline from the Great Lakes in order that Arizona can have green grass in their front yards. All of the Great Lake states (and eventually the feds) signed the Great Lakes Compact [] in order to protect the lakes. In effect, it requires that all water removed from the lakes must be returned.

    Dropping lake levels has a significant economic impact on shipping in the midwest - measured in the billions of dollars (too lazy to find a citation for this, but I've read more than a few reports on this over the years).

    As for the rest of your post, yes sea level are rising, but I think a 3 foot rise in sea levels in the short term is not terribly likely. The seas are rising, this is a problem, but I don't think it serves anyone to overstate the problem. A cm or two is a big enough problem as it is. 3 ft in the short term would be nothing short of catastrophic. Calm down, focus on the problem, readjust to the new data, and contribute to the conversation productively with your newfound context.


  • Re:Republicans (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @06:33AM (#42115105)

    The Republican Party of today would be totally unrecognizable to my grandfather who was born in 1899. Eisenhower was a president he fully supported. Today Eisenhower would be considered a liberal socialist by the idiots running the GOP today. Don't blame the wrong generation.

  • Re:Denier (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @07:28AM (#42115331) Homepage

    The US of A is merely a land mass from which human people do the things they do. Under similar circumstance and opportunity other humans will do similarly. This is a fact of human nature. It has nothing to do with nationality. Let's be clear on this point.

    That the rich and powerful of the US are abusing the rest of the world, I will not deny. The older I get, the more I awaken to it. But this is not really US Americans so much as it is a select group of people within the US. They seem to live in another plane of existence where the law and everything else treats them differently, protected in a cloak of money. They can harm the global economy without trouble to themselves, but a person can shop lift and get prison. I think the notion is clear enough.

    It all happens because of greed you know. China wants more so they sell out their own people and pollute without shame. The US industries have done the same though within a tighter framework of law for centuries. ( The link just points out one state and one type of industry, but you can pretty much guarantee this is not isolated. It is important to note that the people making decisions and money are completely isolated from problems which may result from their decisions in most cases. For example, several people in the BP incident were charged and convicted of crimes, but not the real decision makers... not the ones at the top.

    But greed... greed... a human condition, not one which is exclusive to residents of a particular land mass. These are crimes of opportunity, not of character.

    I hate to point this out but it is essentially and in practice quite true: Civilization is most advanced when we counter our own nature with a system of law and keep it enforced fairly and without exception. In order to be fair, law must be in the interests of the masses, not in the interests of the few. So religious law and law which supports the interests of a few need to go.

    If anyone thinks "the US" is the problem, they need to look at where the people of the US came from and what those people, when allowed, have done to their world in the past and what they are doing at present. There are a lot of pots calling kettles black.

    We should accept what we are and what we know of our nature. We should acknowledge we already have an effective solution to our weaknesses which we call a framework of constitutional law... and support it. When people protest government, people should demand that law and order prevail. Many people are. But we should focus on the causes here and this is, as I see it, the real cause when you exclude "human nature."

  • Re:Denier (Score:5, Interesting)

    by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @07:35AM (#42115367)

    The only thing universal healthcare brought you was waiting lines and mediocre care if you're in any country but norway/sweden/denmark and maybe the UK. You give up so much control over your existences for this and other handouts and I do not understand why. Do you really want to end up like greece? ..or hell, the USA 20-40 years from now, as it slides into its new status as a chinese satellite?

    First, we do not have waiting lines in hospitals or any other part of the healthcare system in Germany. Especially not for urgent things. Second, when I have a chronic disease, my bill does not rise. I do not go bankrupt over healthcare cost. Third, according to OECD measures. The average US citizen pays $ 6000 for healthcare per year (including state money and including those people who do not have any healthcare) with a service coverage of around 80%, while the so puny Europeans only pay around $ 3000 per year (also including all subsidies) and have a service coverage by 99%. Fourth, the problem in Greece is corruption. And the ever mounting debt is a general problem of our world economy. the US has a much bigger deficit per person and by GDP. Especially when compared to Germany. And that after Germany had to incorporate East Germany in the 1990s.

    However, we are all sitting in the same boat (including China). If we sink, the sink too. And we have all a resource and sustainability problem. And one cause of that is the present constitution of the economic system. That has to be fixed. As well as the resource problem. And yes. The US is not helping with these issues according to past outcomes of global environment conferences. The "We need to drill for more oil"-logic is also flawed. It would be better to start switching then to prolong the present. But, if you do not want to change, Europe or to be more precise the EU can try to do better. You are always welcomed to follow us.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @08:01AM (#42115491)

    ... were visiting my school....

    I assure you that if you spoke up, you would have been belittled by the smug asshole, your teacher would have joined in or told you to shut up, you would have been sent to the office, your parents called, and suspended. You then would probably would have been forced to apologize to those kooks.

    No you did the right thing. And not only that, I can be pretty sure those smug asshats walked away thinking they did a great job getting the "word" out about the "truth". Those people are delusional. All the data in the World will never change their mind. And as more things are done (hopefully) to deal with Global Warming, those people will be scratching their heads wondering why there's so much support for such actions. Kind of like the Fox News crowd who couldn't believe that Obama kicked Romney's ass in the elections. Actually it is the same crowd.

    The Fox News - Talk Radio crowd are so ill informed that they are living in a delusion of what reality is. Why right now, they firmly believe that Obama is going to pull some sort of a legal thingy doodle and be in office until 2020. But that's another story and post ....

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @08:41AM (#42115713) Homepage
    Deodorant companies tell me that I stink.
  • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 ) <> on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:03AM (#42115887) Homepage Journal

    recent data doesn't show any increase in rate of sea level rise: []

    The article doesn't say that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating, it says that it is higher than was predicted.

    looking at the decadal rate of increase it has actually been falling off for last 5 years: []
    doesn't appear to be any significant alteration in rate of rise over last 100 years,

    Are we looking at the same graph? That shows a distinct accelerating upward curve over 140 years, and the graph has too much noise to take any notice of 5-year timescales.

    rate of rise in 30's-60's was about the same as current: []

    20 years should be a big enough time frame to see something, but it's still hard to make out what that graph is saying. The first 12 years look like acceleration, then there seems to be a fall-off in the rise for 6 years, but the dip in 2011 might just be an anomaly.

  • Re:I've given up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:28AM (#42116053) Homepage Journal

    Before you give up, I think it's worthwhile to examine the kernel of truth in the denialist position.

    When you force a denialist into the corner he'll pull out this chestnut: the history of climate shows greater differences than we're talking about for the next century; there's no "right" temperature for the globe. There's more than a kernel of truth in this, it just misses the fact that there's a big difference between changes that happen over the course of many lifetimes or many lifetimes in the future, and change that happens in the lifetime of people currently inhabiting the planet. It's a bit like somebody saying "fire is part of the natural forest lifecycle" then throwing his lit cigarette butt onto the dry forest floor.

    The differences between conservatives and liberals on this issue is that conservatives fear change we'd have to do something about, and liberals fear change we can't do anything about. But I content there are no such changes we cannot do anything about.

    Humans are adaptable. Change is traumatic, but we can adapt to a "new normal". On one of my favorite forest walks I encounter a visible sign of climate change: a dying grove of eastern hemolock (Tsuga canadensis). Twenty years ago walking into the grove in summer was like walking into a refrigerator. You could not see a patch of sky through the canopy, and sometimes snow drifts survived til June under the eaves of the grove. What's killing the grove is the wooly adgelid, an Asian insect whose northward range is limited by cold winters. When that grove finally dies I will miss it, but future generations won't. They'll see the black birch and rhododendron that replace it as normal, the way I see the red oak and Norway maple that replaced the American Chestnut (once the dominant hardwood species in N. America) as normal. Something will be lost but everyone won't experience loss, just those of us who remember what we used to have. *We* will experience loss, as will our children and grandchildren; but our great-great-great grandchildren won't.

    So what can we do about climate change? First, it's far from clear we can't stop it; we've been so busy debating (at least in political circles) whether climate is changing at all that we haven't really put any serious thought into stopping it. It's far too early to give up hope.

    It's also quite feasible that change can be slowed. People tend to underestimate the utility of that. There's a big difference between a 100cm sea level rise in 100 years and 100cm rise in 200 years; it's much easier and less traumatic to adapt to gradual change than sudden change.

    And we can face squarely the changes that are coming rather than pretending they won't or wringing our hands. That includes preparing for the loss of coastal property and accommodating populations as they abandon of some currently habitable areas. It includes preparing for the emergence of new diseases as the geographic range of pathogens and disease vectors expands. There's preserving species in danger of extinction as their habitat shifts out from under them, and changing crops as rainfall patterns change. Those are huge but achievable tasks that are made much easier by a marginal reduction in the rate of change.

  • Re:Denier (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:51AM (#42116241)
    Parent claims that the UK doesn't count them, while America does.
  • by DiscountBorg(TM) ( 1262102 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:55AM (#42116965)

    'In the 1970s scientists were predicting an ice age, now it's global warming.'

    There's plenty of deniers who claim warming isn't happening, who claim its a conspiracy to raise taxes, who cite a Time magazine article from the early 1970s (when global warming actually still was more or less a consensus) as evidence of some discrepancy in the sciences, because apparently 40 years of scientific advances can be refuted by misquoting what scientists 'believed' in the past.

    Deniers won't be able to find 'safe places' to camp out, it's not like one can just find a bunker and ride it out for a couple of years. Even if some now accept that warming is taking place, the science is still being denied. The net effect, doing nothing, is the same. The difference amounts to splitting hairs.

    Although it's true there are parts of the world that won't be hit as hard as others, and those of us who live there won't have to worry about camping out.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:03PM (#42117759) Homepage

    The point is that New York City is very vulnerable to a relatively small increase in sea level, and we got a demonstration of how much damage it could do in a very short amount of time.

  • Re:I've given up (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @02:25PM (#42119961)

    Now see, that's good news in a sense - no matter how badly we fuck up - chances are we can't wipe out life on earth, earth will live on and in a few million years there'll be some other creature who asks "Why are we here ?" -

    Even this is completely correct. Humans have collected and created materials and diseases far in excess in terms of both quantity and concentration of what nature would have ever produced.

    If we go, we're leaving these behind for future creatures to have to contend with. The stockpiles we have of nuclear material and rare and very lethal diseases will be waiting in the wings for whatever end product a few millions years of evolution's best efforts can produce.

    One day, that sealed , 3 foot thick steel and concrete door on that CDC black site finally gives way and looses on the earth things which no creature evolved to deal with. Ditto our nuclear stockpiles. It's far and away enough to kill everything, every time for eons going forward.

    It' s something like the original book the Planet Of The Apes actually, where even if creatures evolve to a fairly sophisticated level, they aren't going to understand what it is and what it can do to them should they open it, topple it, live near it or just be unfortunate enough to cohabitate on a planet with it.

    Like it or not, we are now and forever after the caretakers of this earth and all the life that is or will be on it.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain