“Five metres and rising”, that’s the title of the New Scientist (13 June 2015) report on sea level rise. “Whatever we do now, the seas will rise by at least 5 metres. Most of Florida and many other low-lying areas and cities around the world are doomed to go under. If that weren’t bad enough, without drastic cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions–more drastic than any being discussed ahead of the critical climate meeting in Paris later this year—a rise of 20 metres will soon be unavoidable.” “[It is uncertain how fast this will happen], with estimates for a 5 metre rise ranging from a couple of hundred years to a couple of thousand. But there is hardly any doubt that this rise is inevitable.”
The arithmetic is pretty depressing:
. Mountain glaciers: 0.4 metre
. Ocean thermal expansion: + 0.8 metre
. West Antarctic ice sheet: + 3.5 metre
. Total 4.7 metres.
If global warming goes past 2 degrees Celsius, which looks likely, then there is more sea rise.
(The Rational Pessimist article is based on a New Scientist report which is behind a pay-wall: 13 June 2015)
Key Words: Climate