Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Good News! Seas Won't Rise Over 6 Feet This Century

Clear, still sunny morning, a few scattered clouds.


That's right, scientists have declared that it is impossible for the waters to rise beyond 6 feet (2 meters) by the year 2100. That's the maximum predicted at least for this century. So there Al Gore, you were wrong. Sea levels are rising about 3 millimeters per year now which is about an inch every 8 years but the rate of sea level rise is predicted to sharply increase as time marches on. Great news, eh?

So a 6 foot rise would be the worst case scenario (whew) if all the right glaciers melted in Greenland and certain parts of the Antarctic have a melt down. If we are lucky, it will be less.

So imagine the ocean rising even half that amount, say only 3 feet, or even less. The sea coast I am familiar with already has problems during storms that hit at high tide. Certain streets flood, and erosion is barely repairable with many properties waiting to be swallowed. It is unimaginable to think what 6 more inches,12 more inches or even 2 more feet would do to the sea coast. A Google map allows you to check out your coast line of interest and see the affect of rising sea levels.

Places like New Orleans (already below sea level), Delaware, Maryland or major cities like New York or Boston which are currently at sea level are going to be devastated by just a few inches, never mind 2 to 3 feet. Maybe people don't have good imaginations. Maybe we need more computer models to really show us what this kind of sea level means and what it will actually look like. Maybe people don't want to know. Maybe people don't care.

I am totally mystified by the lack of interest or alarm of the news of seas rising, fascinated really. What on earth is it going to take to get people's attention to what is predicted for our earth? Are we so unengaged to the point that we think that a sea level rise of only 6 feet is a good thing and because this is way below previous predictions that 6 feet is now no big deal? And this is good news? Not in my book.

1 comment:

GreenOfficeBlog said...

I wonder why the prediction changed - could it have anything to do with our efforts to reduce global warming? Or were all the scientists just wrong in the first place? It's truly terrifying to think about what will happen when the seas begin to rise. We're looking at some pretty big changes, but no one will believe it until it actually happens.