|Fig. 1 Sea ports of Iceland|
The same can be said of all the ports in Greenland (Fig. 2).
Not to mention that all of the sea ports in Australia will experience different levels of rise (N. Australia) or fall (S. Australia), or stay at the same level (Mid Australia), depending on their distance from Antarctica (compare Fig. 4 with Fig. 5).
I mention the ports of Iceland and Greenland, not because they are world scale ports
|Fig. 2 Sea ports of Greenland|
Navy Rear Admiral Titley revealed that he is aware of plans to build a world class port ("a new Singapore") in the area because in a few years the Arctic sea ice will be substantially gone during the summer, and thus the once-fabled Northwest Passage will be open for sea travel (Has The Navy Fallen, Iceland Building Arctic Port).
Why that is a big deal, he goes on to explain, is because shipping companies can save a lot of time and money by using the Arctic route instead of the Panama Canal route.
Indeed he was correct, because plans for sea ports have been made:
This point was stressed by Professor Qi Shaobin of Dalian Maritime University in China. Opening up the Arctic "will change the market pattern of the global shipping industry because it will shorten the maritime distance significantly among the Chinese, European, and American markets," he told Chinese state media last week.(Climate Change Is Opening the Door to Arctic Shipping, emphasis added). These plans have evidently been made without consulting Professor Mitrovica who says the sea level around Greenland and Iceland will drop as the ice sheets melt.
And shipping figures certainly look encouraging. Russian authorities said last week they had already granted permission for more than 370 ships to sail the route this year. In 2012, only 46 ships sailed the entire length of the passage from Europe to Asia, while in 2010 only 4 vessels made the voyage.
Fig. 3 Sea Level Fall Rise @ Greenland
In the wake of these figures, several proposals have been announced to take advantage of the expected expansion in Arctic shipping. Iceland is considering plans, backed by German entrepreneurs, to build a major port on its northeastern shores. Similarly, Stornoway Port Authority in Scotland said last month that it was considering building a special port for Arctic ships so they could refuel and discharge cargoes into smaller vessels for onward shipment to Rotterdam, Le Havre, Liverpool, or London. In addition, Valentin Davydants, captain of Russia's Atomflot fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers, has estimated that 15 million metric tons of cargo will use the full Northern Sea Route by 2021.
It sounds impressive until you realize that 929 million metric tons of cargo were shipped through the Suez Canal by 18,000 vessels in 2011. By that standard, the Northern Sea Route has still got a long way to go in transforming world shipping.
And other issues affect the attractiveness of sailing in Arctic waters. The seas around the North Pole may be losing their summer ice cover, but there is still the ever-present danger of icebergs and drifting slabs of pack ice.
|Fig. 4 Sea ports of Australia|
Those ports, and the ocean around Greenland, have already experienced Peak Sea Level, and are now in decline, now falling, because the gravity of the ice sheet weakens as its ice melts and/or calves into the sea.
Australia has a similar but more complex problem.
Its sea ports are at various distances from Antarctica, and it is so large that it looks to have sea ports that experience lower sea levels in its southern tip, but maybe higher sea levels at its northern tip (Fig. 4, Fig. 5).
I don't have to tell you that this complicates the planning of public works and port authority departments of governments.
Nor do I have to tell you that it complicates the work of architects and marine engineers who are working on some of the projects mentioned above.
|Fig. 5 Sea level fall / rise Antarctica (see video)|
One reason is the
The other problem, of the two I mention today, is that even the scientist community is not yet coordinated on the papers of Professor Jerry X. Mitrovica (see video below) nor his Team (The Mitrovica Group).
When I took a look at the recent paper of Dr. James Hansen et al. I found no references to sea level fall (SLF), nor any mention of the concepts or papers of Dr. Mitrovica, nor his group (A Paper From Hansen et al. Is Now Open For Discussion).
Until there is a meaningful consensus among scientists concerning the Mitrovica hypotheses, which he says are settled science, then engineers and other public works professionals cannot commit to major multi-billion dollar projects that take years or decades to accomplish (The Agnotology of Sea Level Rise Via Ice Melt, Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 44, Will This Float Your Boat - 10).
Especially when the sea level will continue to be a moving target while they are building sea ports, and afterwards.
They may be, right now, going full steam ahead on many sea port projects totally unaware or totally unconvinced of the future of world sea ports (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization, 2, 3, 4, 5).
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.
Professor Jerry X. Mitrovica on the gravity / axis bulge SLR / SLF issues we don't hear about often: