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Topic Title: Sea levels may rise much faster than previously predicted, swamping coastal cities
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Created On: 05/21/2019 10:37 AM
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 05/21/2019 10:37 AM
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WG

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"Global sea levels could rise more than two meters (6.6 feet) by the end of this century if emissions continue unchecked, swamping major cities such as New York and Shanghai and displacing up to 187 million people, a new study warns.

Global sea levels could rise more than two meters (6.6 feet) by the end of this century if emissions continue unchecked, swamping major cities such as New York and Shanghai and displacing up to 187 million people, a new study warns.

The study, which was released Monday, says sea levels may rise much faster than previously estimated due to the accelerating melting of ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica.

The international researchers predict that in the worst case scenario under which global temperatures increase by 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, sea levels could rise by more than two meters (6.6 feet) in the same period -- double the upper limit outlined by the UN climate science panel's last major report.

Such a situation would be "catastrophic," the authors of the study warn.
"It really is pretty grim," lead author Jonathan Bamber, a Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Bristol told CNN. "Two meters is not a good scenario."
He said the mass displacement of people in low-lying coastal areas would likely result in serious social upheaval. It would also pose an "existential threat" to small island nations in the Pacific which would be left pretty much uninhabitable.

The researchers found that under the extreme-case scenario, about 1.79 million square
kilometers (691,120 sq miles) -- an area more than three times the size of California -- would be lost to the sea."

Such a rise would place up to 187 million people at risk, which is about 2.5% of the world's total population.

While the authors acknowledge that the chance of a worst-case scenario could be small, around 5%, they say it should not be discounted.
"Our study suggests that there is a real risk, a plausible risk of very substantial sea level rise coming from both ice sheets," Bamber said.

He added that humankind had quite a narrow window of opportunity to avoid some of the worst consequences, such as very high sea level rise.

"What we decide to do collectively as a species politically, globally, over the next decade is going to determine the future of the next generations in terms of the habitability of the planet and what sort of environment they live in."


The United Nations climate panel's last major report in 2013 predicted that sea levels would rise between 52 and 98 cm (20.4 inches and 38.5 inches) by 2100 at the current trajectory. But many experts saw those findings as conservative.

Scientists are worried that the current models used to predict the influence of massive melting ice sheets have flaws, and fail to capture all of the uncertainties.

To try to get a clearer picture, the report's authors asked 22 ice sheet experts to estimate how the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets might respond to future climate change, using newly advanced regional- and continental-scale, process-based models.
Scientists say there is still time to avoid the worst if global greenhouse gas emissions are cut sharply in the coming decades."
cnn.com

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 05/21/2019 10:59 AM
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TeeBirdForever

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I'll cut the snark and just say if you haven't tried reading an AGW paper, you may not know how many factors (absorbtion, emission, reflection, conduction, various gases, etc, etc) climate researchers consider in drawing these conclusions.

It's not some half-assed notion.
 05/22/2019 06:23 AM
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somebodyelse

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The researchers found that under the extreme-case scenario, about 1.79 million square kilometers (691,120 sq miles) -- an area more than three times the size of California -- would be lost to the sea........................................Why do they always go directly to the EXTREAM-CASE Scenarios???.................And then cite those extreme cases as the new facts???......... AND THEN 'say there is still time to avoid the worst if global greenhouse gas emissions are cut sharply in the coming decade'................... So we are supposed to base our manufacturing/ transportation/ life style/ political decisions on the EXTREAM-CASE scenario???

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 05/22/2019 06:38 AM
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scombrid

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Even under the status quo we are looking at difficulties if the current trend continues. I've pulled gage data from the St. Johns from Buffalo Bluff to Geneva and there's a fairly steady rise since the gages were installed in the 1930s and the best fit regression curved upward in the last 15 years of the time series which indicates an acceleration of the rise. Coastal sites in southwest Florida look the same. The data up in the subsident Hampton Roads area where sinking land is combining with rising sea surface heights are scary.

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 05/22/2019 06:41 AM
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scombrid

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I am middle aged and I can say for sure that the marsh where I grew up has traveled a good bit up slope at Mom and Dad's house. There was a cypress swamp at the head of the creek with some enormous virgin trees. It is gone. Salt got it. There is spartina and juncus where the cypress were 20 years ago. The marsh was a cool little place to learn about environmental gradients. Down by the big creek it had spartina patens and alternaflora along with juncus roemerianus. They all grew in patches according to their elevation relative to the mean tides. Oh yeah, there was a fringe of cynosuroides on the high marsh. As you moved up the marsh the salt marsh gave way to cattails and marsh mallow. Furthers up the gradient was a stand of giant bald cypress. Well, the spartina started moving up slope into the cattails and mallows. In the span of 20 years the salt marsh is all the way to the head of the ravine and the freshwater marsh is gone.

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Edited: 05/22/2019 at 09:01 AM by scombrid
 05/22/2019 07:22 AM
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TeeBirdForever

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Joined Forum: 08/21/2016

Because the "exstream" case is pretty bad.

But the problem right now isn't balancing our economic and environmental interests (as I am sure most would approve), it's getting any traction at all on carbon concentrations given the current political climate.
 05/22/2019 08:16 AM
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ww

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Joined Forum: 08/17/2007

    The Florida Native Plant Society held their annual conference this past weekend at Crystal River, where sea level rise is an obvious phenomenon and there's accurate tide gauge data for St. Pete and Cedar Key. Rising sea level has been among the factors affecting the springs (70 of them at least), and shorelines and vegetation have changed substantially. Tree islands gradually disappear and salt marsh turns to open water.
    New houses now have Keys-like requirements for everything to be out of reach of storm surges. For the longer term, it's pretty much accepted that the community has a limited life span.
    Experts figure sea level rise is accelerating. Just how fast is uncertain, partly because it's difficult to make predictions about the Antarctic ice sheets behave. A lot of the more conservative and widely-used estimates have lowballed Antarctica because of that uncertainty, and that's made nasty surprises possible.


Edited: 05/22/2019 at 08:17 AM by ww
 05/22/2019 12:54 PM
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Greensleeves

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Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Jeez.

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