Friday, June 12, 2015

Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 4

I. The Basic Case

The following table (Table 1) was prepared using USGS data (Sea Level and Climate).

The table shows the maximum sea level rise (SLR) potential, should land ice melt and make its way into the sea, or calve then slide or fall into the sea.

The values in the table are sectioned off by the various locations where those potentials derive from, then those values are totalled on the bottom line:

Table 1. Potential maximum sea level rise (SLR) from the total melting / calving into the sea, of present-day glaciers and land based ice caps. Source: USGS
Location Volume
Potential sea-level rise,
Percent of total
East Antarctic ice sheet
West Antarctic ice sheet
Antarctic Peninsula
All other (ice caps, ice fields, glaciers)

II. The Secondary Case

Scientists say that a 1m / 3ft increase in SLR will cause catastrophic results to civilization (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization, 2, 3).

As pointed out in those three links, endangered locations include the East Coast of the United States, from Cape Cod in Massachusetts, down to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

Thus, I focus mostly on the locations and the dynamics which create the potential for a 1m / 3ft increase in SLR.

That is because it is a real and present danger to civilization, and is part of the big story (The Biggest Story in the World).

III. The Scope of The Case

The percentage of global ice that needs to make it to the sea as melt water, or as chunks of ice sheets or glaciers breaking off and falling into the sea, is as follows:
Total SLR potential: 263.5 ft.
SLR rise that will cause catastrophe: 3 ft.
Percentage of total: 3 ft. ÷ 263.5 ft. = (0.011385199) 1.14%
(Table 1). All that is required to make the case is pointing out that when a tiny one percent (1.14%) of the world's ice melts, then flows into the sea as melt water, or slides into the sea as ice (e.g. icebergs), then 1m / 3ft increase in SLR is done.

IV. The Chances of The Case

Any gambler would love to be able to bet on a sure thing, on a certainty, especially if the bookmakers gave better than a non-starter 1-1 spread (e.g. 2-1).

But that won't happen because it is a certainty that far more than one percent (1.14%) of the world's ice will melt or otherwise make its way to the sea.

There is no controversy about that among the scientists who work and research in this field as a career.

V. Nuclear War Is Less Likely

The odds of 1.14% of the world's ice melting is 100% certain, but according to some sources, the focus on betting odds is uncertain things:
"I rate the chance of a nuclear war within my lifetime as being fairly low"

"the relatively tiny probability of … the threat of nuclear war"
(Odds at SVA, Odds of Nuke War). If you were a gambler you could bet on nuclear war potential at SVA, but you would be at a loss to bet on SLR there:
Fig. 1 Betting odds
(ibid, cf. Bookmaking odds). The way to properly handle this type of certainty (SLR) is to take whatever steps are necessary to deal with the cause: fossil fuel use (Keep It In The Ground),

But if that fails, then the only thing left to do is prepare for the consequences (The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First).

VI. Valid Betting Odds Concern The Issue of "When," not "If"

Among scientists there is a valid issue concerning when the 1m / 3ft increase in SLR will have taken place.

The major reason for this controversy has been due a lack of knowledge about Antarctica and Greenland (The Evolution of Models - 10).

This has resulted in habitual underestimations in reports, and in scientific models (The Epistemology of Goldilocks RE: Sea Level Rise, cf. The Agnotology of Sea Level Rise Via Ice Melt).

VII. Conclusion

Ongoing research is changing SLR understanding, and increasing the knowledge that we will see the 1.14% melt / calving of global ice sheets much sooner than we have proclaimed in the past (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 3).

And much sooner than the "when" that some still adhere to (Oil-Qaeda & MOMCOM Conspire To Commit Depraved-Heart Murder, Barry & Oil-Qaeda vs Arctic Wilderness - 2).

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


  1. Per cent of the total chart was most valuable.
    Greenland is ONLY 8 percent of the total was a shock.

  2. 1.14% is like less than 2 cents of a dollar.

    Quite clear those odds.

  3. I ran across a scientific paper (NASA GISS) which indicates that in the recent geological record is evidence of a 1m / 3ft sea level rise that took place "within a few years or less" (The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

    It took place about "8,200-7,600 years ago" when early civilization was taking shape.

    The exact same conditions exist right now.