Monday, November 11, 2013

Will This Float Your Boat - 3

America divided by Climate Change
In the first post of this series we took a look at the overly "cautious" or overly "conservative" outlook scientists have traditionally had regarding the Eastern Antarctica Ice Sheet.

In the second post of this series we expanded on that history of overly cautious  estimations of polar ice cap melt based upon new studies and reports that updated our knowledge about the potential for melt in Antarctica.

In today's post we will review some and consider sea level rise that comes not only from ice cap melting, but rather sea level rise that takes place from just the warming of the waters of the Earth, without any additional amounts of water being added to the oceans.

"Table 1" below shows ice cap locations, volume of ice at those locations, and the potential sea level rise, in meters, should ice at that location completely melt.

Table 1. Estimated potential maximum sea-level rise from the total melting of present-day glaciers and polar ice caps. Source: USGS
Location Volume
Potential sea-level rise,
East Antarctic ice sheet
West Antarctic ice sheet
Antarctic Peninsula
All other ice caps, ice fields, and valley glaciers
Note: 80.32 meters equals 263.5 feet

When these sea level rise events are going to take place is even more well known (it happened "yesterday").

That is, the oceans are already rising from ice cap melt, as well as from the warming of the waters of the oceans (see e.g. Has The Navy Fallen For The Greatest Hoax?, Government Climate Change Report, Perfect Storm: New Global Ground Zero, The Illusion of Environmental Security - 3).

The Eastern Seaboard is already experiencing the sea level rise even as republican right-wing legislators succumb to denial, and even fraud:
“We’ve got the highest rate of sea level rise on the East Coast,” said Skip Stiles, executive director, Wetlands Watch, who will be making a presentation on the historic, current and future sea level changes and potential impact on the Eastern Shore.

Stiles said some of the evidence of sea level rise visible to people who spend time around the water include seeing wetlands disappear, ditches going tidal, backyard vegetation changes, and “ghost forests” — full grown trees that are dead along the shore because the water is “moving in underneath them.”
Stiles said all of the Virginia tide gage measurements are showing about the same rise of a foot and a half over the last 100 years.
There is virtually universal agreement among scientists that the sea will probably rise a good meter or more before the end of the century, wreaking havoc in low-lying coastal counties. So the members of the developers’ lobbying group NC-20 say the sea will rise only 8 inches, because … because … well, SHUT UP, that’s because why.

That is, the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow.
(Social Dementia Causes Heated Misunderestimations - 2). Most heat comes from the Sun, and a portion of it is being trapped in the Earth's environment by green house gases.

The portion that is not radiating back into space is now being stored in the oceans, which in and of itself makes sea levels rise as the average global temperature rises:

Sea level is rising — and at an accelerating rate — especially along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico

  • Global average sea level rose roughly eight inches from 1880 - 2009.
  • The average annual rate of global sea level rise accelerated from 1993 - 2008, increasing 65 - 90 percent above the twentieth century average.
  • The U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico experienced some of the world's fastest rates of sea level rise in the twentieth century due to local and regional factors.
  • From 1880 - 2009, Miami faced 12 inches of local sea level rise; Boston, New York, and Charleston, SC, 13 to 16 inches; Virginia Beach, 30 inches; and Galveston, TX, nearly three feet.
Human activities, such as burning coal and oil and cutting down tropical forests, have increased atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases and caused the planet to warm by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880.
  • Rising temperatures are warming ocean waters, which expand as the temperature increases. This thermal expansion was the main driver of global sea level rise for 75 - 100 years after the start of the Industrial Revolution, though its relative contribution has declined as the shrinking of land ice has accelerated.
  • Land ice—glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets—is shrinking at a faster rate in response to rising temperatures, adding water to the world's oceans.
  • As the rate of ice loss has accelerated, its contribution to global sea level rise has increased from a little more than half of the total increase from 1993 - 2008 to 75 - 80 percent of the total increase between 2003 - 2007.
(Union of Concerned Scientists). The T-Party republicans in the U.S. government, as they yell jingoistic warmongering slogans, deny science.

That ideological trance, along with observations of Veterans who do not deny science, clearly reveal that such demented denial is exposing the nation's military to security threats:
America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.

Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen ... that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
This Navy Admiral even believes that Singapore will no longer be the greatest ocean port, but that a port in Greenland will take that honor, because after the polar ice caps melt in the Arctic, the fabled Northwest Passage will become strategic, and the Panama Canal will become somewhat of a museum piece.
(All Weather is Local - 4). The latest typhoon, Haiyan, has reaped great destruction and an estimated 10,000 human deaths.

Don't forget the many other typhoons before Haiyan (a.k.a. Yolanda) this year.

All weather is local to the global climate system, thus, fossil fuel use because of the power of Oil-Qaeda, has turned the global climate system into damaged goods.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

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