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rising sea level
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Related Scary Tags:
arctic meltdown  ~ global warming  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ climate impacts  ~ ocean warming  ~ holyshit  ~ melting glaciers  ~ faster than expected  ~ carbon emissions  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ weather extremes  



Tue, Mar 29, 2016
from Cosmos Magazine:
Arctic sea ice hits a record low wintertime maximum
The Arctic Ocean ice cap peaked for the winter on 24 March at 14.52 million square kilometres - a record low and 20,000 square kilometres less than the previous record low maximum extent. The 13 smallest maximum extents on the satellite record have happened in the last 13 years. Record high temperatures were recorded in December, January and February around the world. In the Artic average air temperatures were up to 5.5 degrees C above average at the edges of the ice pack. ...


Talk about opportunities for improvement!!

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Wed, Mar 23, 2016
from New York Magazine:
New Paper Suggests Catastrophic Climate Shifts May Be Decades Away
Using computer models, evidence from ancient episodes of climate change, and modern observations, Hansen and his team arrived at one essential conclusion: The melting of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets will set off a vicious cycle that dramatically accelerates the pace of climate change. The key concept here is ocean "stratification," a process by which cold, fresh meltwater rises to the ocean surface while warmer salt water is pushed beneath. (The Washington Post notes that an "anomalously cold 'blob' of ocean water" has been detected off the southern coast of Greenland.) That warmer salt water would eventually reach the base of the ice sheets, melting them from below, thus spurring more stratification, which would then spur more melting, which would then spur more stratification, which would spur more warming, until our grandchildren are all swallowed by the sea. But that's not all! Hansen's paper also projects that the influx of cold meltwater in the North Atlantic region, combined with warmer equatorial waters, would drive midlatitude cyclones so strong, the waves would be capable of thrusting gigantic boulders ashore. ...


All Systems Are Pointing. Any Solutions Are Prerequisites. Atlantic Seaboard Aquatically Plundered. Awkward Statements Acronyming Panic: A.S.A.P.!

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Tue, Feb 23, 2016
from Washington Post:
Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say
"We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries," said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities.... The new research also forecasts that no matter how much carbon dioxide we emit, 21st-century sea level rise will still greatly outstrip what was seen in the 1900s. Nonetheless, choices made today could have a big impact. For a low emissions scenario, it finds that seas might only rise between 24 and 61 centimeters. In contrast, for a high emissions scenario -- one that the recent Paris climate accord pledged the world to avert -- they could rise as much as 52 to 131 centimeters, or, at the very high end, 4.29 feet. ...


What's a few feet, between friends?

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Tue, Jan 5, 2016
from Washington Post:
What scientists just discovered in Greenland could be making sea-level rise even worse
Rising global temperatures may be affecting the Greenland ice sheet -- and its contribution to sea-level rise -- in more serious ways that scientists imagined, a new study finds. Recent changes to the island's snow and ice cover appear to have affected its ability to store excess water, meaning more melting ice may be running off into the ocean than previously thought.... Through on-the-ground observations, the scientists have shown that the recent formation of dense ice layers near the ice sheet's surface are making it more difficult for liquid water to percolate into the firn -- meaning it's forced to run off instead. ...


Greenland is going green.

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Wed, May 13, 2015
from ThinkProgress:
Sea Level Rise Is Happening Faster Than Anyone Thought
"We see acceleration, and what I find striking about that is the fact that it's consistent with the projections of sea level rise published by the IPCC," Watson told the Guardian. "Sea level rise is getting faster. We know it's been getting faster over the last two decades than its been over the 20th century and its getting faster again." Because sea levels can naturally fluctuate as water is exchanged between land and sea, Watson notes that the rate of increase is too small to be statistically significant -- though he told the Washington Post that it's clear that sea levels are now rising at roughly double the rate observed in the 20th century, something that will have potentially huge ramifications for coastal areas across the world. ...


Not faster than everyone thought!

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Sun, Mar 29, 2015
from Grist:
Antarctica is basically liquefying
Antarctica's icy edges are melting 70 percent faster in some places than they were a decade ago, according to a new study in the journal Science. These massive ice shelves serve as a buffer between the continent's ice-sheet system and the ocean. As they disintegrate, more and more ice will slip into the sea, raising sea levels by potentially huge amounts. This study is just the latest bit of horrible news from the bottom of the world. Last year, we found out that the West Antarctic ice sheet was in terminal collapse, which could raise sea levels by 10 to 15 feet over a few hundred years. Then, earlier this month, we learned that an enormous glacier on the other side of the continent is in the same state, and could contribute about the same amount to sea-level rise.... But the bad news doesn't seem likely to stop anytime soon: On Monday and Tuesday, it was a balmy 63 degrees Fahrenheit at the bottom of the world, a record high. ...


Two words: Antarctic Surfing.

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Fri, Mar 20, 2015
from Washington Post:
The melting of Antarctica was already really bad. It just got worse.
A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise. Meanwhile, 2015 could be the year of the double whammy -- when we learned the same about one gigantic glacier of East Antarctica, which could set in motion roughly the same amount all over again. Northern Hemisphere residents and Americans in particular should take note -- when the bottom of the world loses vast amounts of ice, those of us living closer to its top get more sea level rise than the rest of the planet, thanks to the law of gravity. ...


It's clear we need to develop "Mr. Freeze" mutant abilities. Monsanto, are you listening?

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Wed, Jan 14, 2015
from Reuters:
Experts warn governments to plan for climate change migrants
Governments need to plan better for rising migration driven by climate change, experts said on Thursday, citing evidence that extreme weather and natural disasters force far more people from their homes than wars. Projections by leading climate scientists of rising sea levels, heatwaves, floods and droughts linked to global warming are likely to oblige millions of people to move out of harm's way, with some never able to return. ...


Guess who's coming to dinner.

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Tue, Oct 14, 2014
from New York Times:
Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change
The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies. ...


We will be at constant war with the wild weather we have reared.

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Wed, Oct 8, 2014
from Climate Central:
Sea Level Rise Making Floods Routine for Coastal Cities
Coastal American cities are sinking into saturated new realities, new analysis has confirmed. Sea level rise has given a boost to high tides, which are regularly overtopping streets, floorboards and other low-lying areas that had long existed in relatively dehydrated harmony with nearby waterfronts. The trend is projected to worsen sharply in the coming years. A new report, released by the Union of Concerned Scientists late on Tuesday, forecasts that by 2030, at least 180 floods will strike during high tides every year in Annapolis, Md. In some cases, such flooding will occur twice in a single day, since tides come in and out about two times daily. By 2045, that's also expected be the case in Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, N.J. and 14 other East Coast and Gulf Coast locations out of 52 analyzed by the Union of Concerned Scientists. ...


The Union of Freaked Out! Scientists

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Tue, Aug 5, 2014
from Cliff Mass Weather Blog:
Will the Pacific Northwest be a Climate Refuge Under Global Warming?
As global warming takes hold later in the century, where will be the best place in the lower 48 states to escape its worst effects? A compelling case can be made that the Pacific Northwest will be one of the best places to live as the earth warms. A potential climate refuge. ...


Don't tell anyone.

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Mon, Jul 7, 2014
from London Guardian:
Besieged by the rising tides of climate change, Kiribati buys land in Fiji
The people of Kiribati, a group of islands in the Pacific ocean particularly exposed to climate change, now own a possible refuge elsewhere. President Anote Tong has recently finalised the purchase of 20 sq km on Vanua Levu, one of the Fiji islands, about 2,000km away. The Church of England has sold a stretch of land mainly covered by dense forest for $8.77m. "We would hope not to put everyone on [this] one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it," Tong told the Associated Press. Kiribati has a population of about 110,000 scattered over 33 small, low-lying islands extending over a total area of 3.5m sq km. ...


God moves in mysterious ways.

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Mon, May 19, 2014
from University of California - Irvine:
Greenland will be far greater contributor to sea rise than expected: Work reveals long, deep valleys connecting ice cap to ocean
Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by glaciologists. The work shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet. The bedrock canyons sit well below sea level, meaning that as subtropical Atlantic waters hit the fronts of hundreds of glaciers, those edges will erode much further than had been assumed and release far greater amounts of water. ...


Welcome to the Valleys of the Shadow of Death.

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Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Mon, May 19, 2014
from University of Leeds:
Antarctica's ice losses on the rise
Three years of observations show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tons of ice each year -- twice as much as when it was last surveyed. Scientists have now produced the first complete assessment of Antarctic ice sheet elevation change.... On average West Antarctica lost 134 gigatonnes of ice, East Antarctica three gigatonnes, and the Antarctic Peninsula 23 gigatonnes in each year between 2010 and 2013 -- a total loss of 159 gigatonnes each year. ...


What a comfort it is to have such accurate numbers!

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Tue, May 13, 2014
from Forbes:
If Antarctic Melting Has Passed The Point Of No Return, We Should Do Less About Climate Change, Not More
If it's going to happen anyway then we shouldn't waste resources in trying to stop it happening.... For however much we impoverish ourselves by killing off industrial society, or by razing all the coal fired stations to build more expensive solar installations, that flooding is going to happen anyway. So, why make ourselves poorer in order to change nothing?... We might as well face the floods being as rich, fat and happy as we can, without wasting resources on trying to prevent something inevitable. ...


When did Forbes buy The Onion?

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Mon, May 12, 2014
from NBC News:
West Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapsing, Triggers Sea Level Warning
Two teams of scientists say the long-feared collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun, kicking off what they say will be a centuries-long, "unstoppable" process that could raise sea levels by as much as 15 feet.... A second study, published Monday in Geophysical Research Letters, reports the widespread retreat of Thwaites and other glaciers on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet -- and says the retreat can't help but continue. "It has passed the point of no return," the research team's leader, Eric Rignot of the University of California at Irvine, told reporters during a NASA teleconference on Monday. The second study projected that the glacial retreat in Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, which includes Thwaites Glacier, would result in 4 feet (1.2 meters) of sea level rise -- and open the way to more widespread retreats. ...


So now I can go ahead and drive my Hummer guilt-free!

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Mon, May 5, 2014
from Reuters:
East Antarctica more at risk than thought to long-term thaw -study
...The Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, stretching more than 1,000 km (600 miles) inland, has enough ice to raise sea levels by 3 to 4 metres (10-13 feet) if it were to melt as an effect of global warming, the report said. The Wilkes is vulnerable because it is held in place by a small rim of ice, resting on bedrock below sea level by the coast of the frozen continent. That "ice plug" might melt away in coming centuries if ocean waters warm up....The study indicated that it could take 200 years or more to melt the ice plug if ocean temperatures rise. Once removed, it could take between 5,000 and 10,000 years for ice in the Wilkes Basin to empty as gravity pulled the ice seawards. ...


What hath man melted.

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Mon, Dec 16, 2013
from New England Center for Investigative Reporting:
The Start Of The "Sand Wars"
Sand is becoming New England coastal dwellers' most coveted and controversial commodity as they try to fortify beaches against rising seas and severe erosion caused by violent storms. From Westerly, Rhode Island to Eliot, Maine, debates over who gets sand, who pays for it and where it comes from are fast becoming some of the region's most contentious oceanfront issues. In many cases, taxpayers are being asked to foot some of the bill for beach-rebuilding projects. "It's called the sand wars," said S. Jeffress Williams, a coastal geologist and scientist emeritus with the United States Geological Survey in Woods Hole and the University of Hawaii. The disputes, happening across the coastal U.S., "are only going to get more intense," he said. ...


With what will I fill my hourglass?

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Wed, Nov 27, 2013
from Washington Post:
New Zealand judge rejects climate refugee plea
A New Zealand judge on Tuesday rejected a Kiribati man's claim that he should be granted refugee status because of climate change. Ioane Teitiota and his wife moved to New Zealand from the low-lying Pacific island nation in 2007. He argued that rising sea levels make it too dangerous for him and his family to return to Kiribati. ...


No man is an (inundated) island.

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Thu, Oct 17, 2013
from Planet Ark:
Pacific man seeks climate change asylum in New Zealand
A Pacific Island man trying to flee rising seas and environmental risks caused by global warming in his home country of Kiribati asked a New Zealand court on Wednesday to let him pursue his claim as a climate change refugee. The low-lying South Pacific island nation has a population of more than 100,000, but its average height of 2 m. (6-1/2 feet) above sea level makes it one of the countries most vulnerable to rising waters and other climate change effects. Ioane Teitiota, 37, asked New Zealand's High Court in Auckland to let him appeal a decision that refused him asylum on the grounds his claim fell short of the legal criteria, such as fear of persecution or threats to his life. Teitiota, who came to New Zealand in 2007 and has three children born there, said he and his family would suffer serious harm if forced to return to Kiribati, because there was no land to which he could safely return. ...


We will all be persecuted by climate change.

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Mon, Oct 14, 2013
from Climate News Network:
Ocean Deteriorating More Rapidly Than Thought
Marine scientists say the state of the world's oceans is deteriorating more rapidly than anyone had realized, and is worse than that described in last month's U.N. climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They say the rate, speed and impacts of ocean change are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought -- and they expect summertime Arctic sea ice cover will have disappeared in around 25 years. ...


Seas the day.

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Tue, Oct 1, 2013
from The Atlantic, on IPCC5:
We Are Terrifyingly Close to the Climate's 'Point of No Return'
What makes the IPCC so important is simple: They are required to agree. Last night, the group pulled an all-nighter to ensure that representatives from all 195 member countries agreed on every single word of the 36-page "summary for policymakers" (pdf). That instantly makes the report the world's scientific and political authority on what is happening to the climate, what will happen in the future, and what needs to be done to avoid the worst impacts.... According to the report, the world can emit about 300 gigatons more carbon (total, ever) before there is a 50 percent confidence the world will reach warming of 2 degrees Celsius, which is the previously agreed upon "point of no return" for the climate system. For reference, 531 gigatons was emitted from 1870 to 2011. On a continued "business as usual" trajectory, the world will burn through about 5 times that safety limit by 2100, putting the world on a path for warming of more than 4.5 degrees Celsius and about a meter of additional sea level rise. This idea of a 'global carbon budget' -- a precursor to a possible global price on carbon emissions -- was endorsed by the group for the first time. Without jumping up and down on the desks of their computer terminals, this forum of scientists has done about as much as they can do. With this report, they have proven humankind's impact on the climate, and confidently projected dire consequences should world governments fail to act immediately. ...


Luckily, everyone listens to egghead scientists when they all agree!

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Mon, Sep 30, 2013
from NewScientist:
Climate report: Lull in warming doesn't mean we're safe
Humanity's role in driving climate change is more certain than ever before, but the most extreme scenarios of future warming are looking less likely than a few years ago. This is the upshot of the latest scientific assessment from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published today.... The new report leaves no doubt that a storm is brewing. It is unequivocal -- temperatures are rising and human activity is to blame. Without drastic action to curb emissions, it says, the world faces a century of strong warming, in which glaciers and ice sheets melt, sea levels rise, the oceans acidify, weather systems shift and rainfall patterns change.... this stark warning will be sidelined by the scientific conundrum over the "missing heat" that should, according to most climate models, have been warming the atmosphere ever faster these past few decades. This may be a short-term blip -- perhaps a result of the oceans temporarily taking up more heat from the atmosphere, says one of the IPCC's lead authors, Myles Allen of the University of Oxford. The report underlines that, whatever is happening to the atmosphere, the oceans continue to warm dramatically. ...


Damn you, ocean, for trying to save us all.

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Mon, Sep 16, 2013
from University of Bristol :
Achilles' Heel of Ice Shelves Is Beneath the Water, Scientists Reveal
New research has revealed that more ice leaves Antarctica by melting from the underside of submerged ice shelves than was previously thought, accounting for as much as 90 per cent of ice loss in some areas. Iceberg production and melting causes 2,800 cubic kilometres of ice to leave the Antarctic ice sheet every year. Most of this is replaced by snowfall but any imbalance contributes to a change in global sea level. For many decades, experts have believed that the most important process responsible for this huge loss was iceberg calving -- the breaking off of chunks of ice at the edge of a glacier. New research [shows] sub-shelf melting has as large an impact as iceberg calving for Antarctica as a whole and for some areas is far more important. ...


Silent, unseen and deadly.

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Fri, Aug 30, 2013
from The Independent:
It holds enough water to raise sea levels 50 metres, but East Antarctica ice sheet is even more unstable than we thought
Declassified images from spy satellites going back 50 years have revealed that the coastal glaciers and floating sea ice of Antarctica are more susceptible to air and sea temperatures than previously supposed, the researchers found. The images, which cover thousands of miles of East Antarctic's coastline and include measurements of 175 glaciers, show there is rapid and synchronised melting and freezing when local temperatures increase or fall, according to the study published in Nature.... "It was a big surprise therefore to see rapid and synchronous changes in advance and retreat, but it made perfect sense when we looked at the climate and sea-ice data. When it was warm and the sea-ice decreased, most glaciers retreated, but when it was cooler and the sea ice increased, the glaciers advanced," Dr Stokes said ...


Warning ahead! Antarctica may answer to the laws of thermodynamics!

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Wed, Aug 21, 2013
from E&E Publishing:
A scientist explains the mystery behind the 2010-2011 sea-level drop
For the past couple of decades, the oceans have been steadily rising. Each year, sea-level increases by about 3 millimeters, a constant and ominous creep responding to climate warming. Scientists have been measuring this rise from satellites since 1993, using instruments called altimeters. But for an 18-month period that began in the middle of 2010, something surprising happened. Instead of rising, sea levels fell.... From 2010 to 2011, enough rain fell on Australia to fill the lower part of the lake almost completely, and the upper portion at least 75 percent. Australia got about a foot of rain more than normal over that period, said Fasullo. The continent stored that excess water for long enough to change global sea levels. ...


Planet earth is a magical place.

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You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Sat, Aug 3, 2013
from William Ruckelshaus, Lee Thomas, WiIliam Reilly and Christine Todd Whitman, in NYT:
A Republican Case for Climate Action
Each of us took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency. We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally. There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth's atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected. The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes "locked in." ...


Who listens to old politicos, anyway?

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Fri, Aug 2, 2013
from Blue and Green Tomorrow:
Greenland experiences 'record high' temperatures
Greenland - 80 percent of which is ice - experienced its highest temperature since records began on Wednesday. The new record, 25.9C (78.6F), was measured at Maniitoq Mittarfia near Baffin Bay on the west coast. The previous high was 25.5C (77.9F) at Kangerlussuaq in July 1990, with records dating back to 1958. Scientists have previously calculated that if the annual average temperature in Greenland increases by 3C (5.4F), its ice sheet will begin to melt at an abnormal and potentially catastrophic rate.... NSIDC scientist Walt Meier said, "By itself it's just a number, and occasionally records are going to get set. ...


Isn't "occasional" supposed to mean "not very often"?

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Mon, Jul 15, 2013
from The Independent:
Massive ice sheets melting 'at rate of 300bn tonnes a year', climate satellite shows
"In the course of the mission, it has become apparent that ice sheets are losing substantial amounts of ice - about 300 billion tonnes a year - and that the rate at which these losses occurs is increasing," said Bert Wouters of Bristol University's Glaciology Centre.... In its last report in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that average sea levels are rising by about 2 millimetres a year. But, other scientists calculated last year that the true rate is about 3.2mm a year - about 60 per cent faster. "Compared to the first few years of the Grace mission, the ice sheets' contribution to sea-level rise has almost doubled in recent years," added Dr Wouters, the lead author of the study published in the Earth sciences journal Nature Geoscience. ...


Seawalls 'R' Us!

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Mon, May 20, 2013
from University of Colorado at Boulder:
World's Melting Glaciers Making Large Contribution to Sea Rise
While 99 percent of Earth's land ice is locked up in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the remaining ice in the world's glaciers contributed just as much to sea rise as the two ice sheets combined from 2003 to 2009, says a new study led by Clark University and involving the University Colorado Boulder. The new research found that all glacial regions lost mass from 2003 to 2009, with the biggest ice losses occurring in Arctic Canada, Alaska, coastal Greenland, the southern Andes and the Himalayas. ...


This loss of mass is likely responsible for the growing obesity epidemic.

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Mon, Apr 15, 2013
from Reuters:
Scientists find Antarctic ice is melting faster
The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves. Researchers from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey found data taken from an ice core also shows the summer ice melt has been 10 times more intense over the past 50 years compared with 600 years ago. ...


Antarctic: the other melting Arctic.

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Mon, Jan 7, 2013
from University of Bristol :
Future Sea Level Rise from Melting Ice Sheets May Be Substantially Greater Than IPCC Estimates
Future sea level rise due to the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could be substantially larger than estimated in Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, according to new research from the University of Bristol. The study, published January 6 in Nature Climate Change, is the first of its kind on ice sheet melting to use structured expert elicitation (EE) together with an approach which mathematically pools experts' opinions. ...


EEk!

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Thu, Nov 29, 2012
from Live Science:
Sea Levels Rising Faster Than Projected
New satellite measurements suggest that global sea levels are rising faster than the most recent projections by the United Nations' climate change panel. The new report found that sea levels are rising at an annual rate of 0.12 inches (3.2 millimeters) -- 60 percent faster than the best estimate of 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) per year, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculated in 2007. ...


Only thing slower than projected is our response to climate change.

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Wed, Nov 21, 2012
from Discovery Channel:
Greenland Loses 200 Billion Tons Ice Per Year
Glacier-covered Greenland has had an average net loss of 200 billion tons of ice every year since 2003, confirm scientists who are studying the changing mass of the island using satellite data. The latest analysis backs up the previously reported trend without even including the last two summers of record-breaking ice melts. "Greenland is really the place where everyone agrees that (the ice melt) is definitely accelerating with time and there is a big contribution to sea level rise," said researcher Isabella Velicogna of the University of California at Irvine (UCI). Just how much is 200 billion tons of ice? Roughly, it's the amount needed to fill enough railroad coal cars to encircle the Earth 800 times. ...


Where's my bucket?

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Mon, Nov 19, 2012
from The Hill:
World Bank report warns of "devastating" global warming
A major World Bank report warns that Earth is heading for a 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature rise by 2100 that would bring unprecedented heatwaves, droughts and floods -- effects that put some of the poorest nations at highest risk. "No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change," states the new report titled "Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 [degrees] C Warmer World Must be Avoided." ...


I'm now banking on the Apocalypse.

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Mon, Nov 5, 2012
from Geological Society of America:
Why Seas Are Rising Ahead of Predictions: Estimates of Rate of Future Sea-Level Rise May Be Too Low
Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range and suggest a rise of one meter or more by the end of the century. "What's missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up," says Hay... One of those feedbacks involves Arctic sea ice, another the Greenland ice cap, and another soil moisture and groundwater mining. ...


Feedbacks will eat us up!

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Wed, Sep 19, 2012
from University of New South Wales :
Warming Ocean Could Start Big Shift of Antarctic Ice
Fast-flowing and narrow glaciers have the potential to trigger massive changes in the Antarctic ice sheet and contribute to rapid ice-sheet decay and sea-level rise, a new study has found... The finding is important because of the enormous scale and potential impact the Antarctic ice sheets could have on sea-level rise if they shift rapidly, says Fogwill. "To get a sense of the scale, the Antarctic ice sheet is 3km deep -- three times the height of the Blue Mountains in many areas -- and it extends across an area that is equivalent to the distance between Perth and Sydney. "Despite its potential impact, Antarctica's effect on future sea level was not fully included in the last IPCC report because there was insufficient information about the behavior of the ice sheet. This research changes that....["] ...


I remember when ignorance was bliss.

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Mon, Sep 10, 2012
from The Daily Climate:
Patagonian glaciers melting in a hurry, report finds
Ice fields in southern South America are rapidly losing volume and in most cases thinning at even the highest elevations, contributing to sea-level rise at "substantially higher" rates than observed from the 1970s through the 1990s, according to a study published Wednesday. The rapid melting, based on satellite observations, suggests the ice field's contribution to global sea-level rise has increased by half since the end of the 20th century, jumping from 0.04 millimeters per year to about .07 mm, and accounting for 2 percent of annual sea-level rise since 1998. The southern and northern Patagonian ice fields are the largest mass of ice in the southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica. The findings spell trouble for other glaciers worldwide, according to the study's lead author, Cornell University researcher Michael Willis. ...


Patagoing ... going ... gone.

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Mon, Aug 13, 2012
from Winston-Salem Journal:
Editorial: Sea-level rise must be taken seriously
Plan for the worst; hope for the best. That's the best strategy to follow with regard to global warming, rising sea levels and development along the North Carolina coast. But our General Assembly and Gov. Bev Perdue are using a totally irresponsible approach in planning for the best and hoping that the worst doesn't happen any time soon. Legislators drew international scorn earlier this year when they considered setting the official estimate of sea-level rise for the next 88 years at 8 inches, a hugely irresponsible projection considering that legitimate scientific projections go as high as 5 feet. ...


They are unwilling to face the shorror of climate change.

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Wed, Aug 1, 2012
from San Jose Mercury News:
California prepares for harsh realities of changing climate
Climate change is real and unfolding, and the outlook for California is bleak. A series of state-sponsored scientific studies released Tuesday warns that California can expect more scorching heat waves, severe and damaging wildfires, emergency room visits and strain on the electric grid as the Earth continues to warm and sea levels rise along the state's 1,100-mile long coast. Higher temperatures in the next decade means that far more of the state's 37 million people will depend on air conditioning--increasing demand for electricity by up to 1 gigawatt during hot summer months. One gigawatt is roughly the size of two coal-fired power plants and is enough energy to power 750,000 homes. ...


As long as the entertainment industry keeps ignoring climate change, we're good!

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Tue, Jul 17, 2012
from University of Delaware :
Glacier Break Creates Ice Island Twice Size of Manhattan
An ice island twice the size of Manhattan has broken off from Greenland's Petermann Glacier, according to researchers at the University of Delaware and the Canadian Ice Service. The Petermann Glacier is one of the two largest glaciers left in Greenland connecting the great Greenland ice sheet with the ocean via a floating ice shelf... According to Muenchow, this newest ice island will follow the path of the 2010 ice island, providing a slow-moving floating taxi for polar bears, seals and other marine life until it enters Nares Strait, the deep channel between northern Greenland and Canada, where it likely will get broken up. ...


Given the circumstances, you'd think these animals would be more likely to take public transportation.

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Wed, Jul 4, 2012
from Reuters:
North Carolina lawmakers reject sea level rise predictions
Lawmakers in North Carolina, which has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline and vast areas of low-lying land, voted on Tuesday to ignore studies predicting a rapid rise in sea level due to climate change and postpone planning for the consequences. Opponents of the measure said it was a case of legislators "putting our heads in the sand" to avoid acknowledging the possible effects of global warming. Backed by real estate developers, the Republican-led General Assembly passed a law requiring that projected rates of sea level rise be calculated on historical trends and not include accelerated rates of increase. ...


When I ignore my problems they always go away!

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Mon, Jul 2, 2012
from Reuters:
Rise in sea level can't be stopped: scientists
Rising sea levels cannot be stopped over the next several hundred years, even if deep emissions cuts lower global average temperatures, but they can be slowed down, climate scientists said in a study on Sunday... Rising sea levels threaten about a tenth of the world's population who live in low-lying areas and islands which are at risk of flooding, including the Caribbean, Maldives and Asia-Pacific island groups. More than 180 countries are negotiating a new global climate pact which will come into force by 2020 and force all nations to cut emissions to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius this century - a level scientists say is the minimum required to avert catastrophic effects. But even if the most ambitious emissions cuts are made, it might not be enough to stop sea levels rising due to the thermal expansion of sea water, said scientists at the United States' National Centre for Atmospheric Research, U.S. research organization Climate Central and Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research in Melbourne. ...


Surf's up... and up... and up...

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Mon, May 21, 2012
from Nature:
Source found for missing water in sea-level rise
Climate change, with its associated melting ice caps and shrinking glaciers, is the usual suspect when it comes to explaining rising sea levels. But a recent study now shows that human water use has a major impact on sea-level change that has been overlooked. During the latter half of the twentieth century, global sea level rose by about 1.8 millimetres per year, according to data from tide gauges. The combined contribution from heating of the oceans, which makes the water expand, along with melting of ice caps and glaciers, is estimated to be 1.1 millimetres per year, which leaves some 0.7 millimetres per year unaccounted for. This gap has been considered an important missing piece of the puzzle in estimates for past and current sea-level changes and for projections of future rises. ...


If they are referring to me taking a leak in my backyard I am not gonna stop!

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Thu, May 10, 2012
from New York Times Op-ed:
James Hansen: Game Over for the Climate
If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate. Canada's tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now.... That is the long-term outlook. But near-term, things will be bad enough. Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Economic losses would be incalculable. More and more of the Midwest would be a dust bowl. California's Central Valley could no longer be irrigated. Food prices would rise to unprecedented levels. If this sounds apocalyptic, it is. This is why we need to reduce emissions dramatically.... The science of the situation is clear -- it's time for the politics to follow. ...


If we slam the brakes on, we'll have to cope with the SQID: the Status Quo Inertia Disorder.

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Fri, Apr 27, 2012
from Associated Press:
Study: Antarctic ice melting from warm water below
Antarctica's massive ice shelves are shrinking because they are being eaten away from below by warm water, a new study finds. That suggests that future sea levels could rise faster than many scientists have been predicting. The western chunk of Antarctica is losing 23 feet of its floating ice sheet each year. Until now, scientists weren't exactly sure how it was happening and whether or how man-made global warming might be a factor. The answer, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, is that climate change plays an indirect role -- but one that has larger repercussions than if Antarctic ice were merely melting from warmer air. ...


Antarctica: the other doomed pole.

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Wed, Mar 21, 2012
from Reuters, via Chicago Tribune:
Damage to world's oceans 'to reach $2 trillion a year'
The cost of damage to the world's oceans from climate change could reach $2 trillion a year by 2100 if measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions are not stepped up, a study by marine experts said on Wednesday. The study found that without action to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions, the global average temperature could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century causing ocean acidification, sea level rise, marine pollution, species migration and more intense tropical cyclones. It would also threaten coral reefs, disrupt fisheries and deplete fish stocks.... If cuts in emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases were carried out more urgently and temperature increases were limited to 2.2 degrees C, nearly $1.4 trillion of the total cost could be avoided, the study found. However, such progress would require the widespread use of radical carbon removal technologies like sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, Frank Ackerman, one of the report's authors told Reuters. "The faster we stop emissions rising, the lower the damage will be. But on current technology, I wouldn't be surprised if we end up on a 4 degree C pathway," said Ackerman, senior economist and director of the Climate Economics Group at SEI's U.S. Center. ...


But think of all the business innovation that will spur!

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Mon, Mar 19, 2012
from BusinessGreen:
Maldives ex-president vows to keep fighting for swift action on climate change
When Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed resigned last month, many people outside the archipelago were shocked to hear the leader, famed for once holding a scuba diving underwater cabinet conference to raise the alarm on rising sea levels, may have been ousted in a de facto coup. The country was plunged into a political crisis when Nasheed agreed to step down on 7 February amid protests against his rule. He later said he was forced to leave by an army "mutiny" and resigned at gunpoint, a claim denied by Mohamed Waheed -- Nasheed's successor and former vice president, who said the transfer of power was constitutional.... Nasheed's resignation will also come as a blow to those countries arguing for swift action on climate change. He was widely hailed as a leading voice for the small island states, many of which will be the first to suffer from rising sea levels. ...


It appears sea level rise struck early for President Nasheed.

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Mon, Mar 12, 2012
from PIK, via EurekAlert:
Greenland ice sheet may melt completely with 1.6 degrees global warming
The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought. The temperature threshold for melting the ice sheet completely is in the range of 0.8 to 3.2 degrees Celsius global warming, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, shows a new study by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Today, already 0.8 degrees global warming has been observed. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea-level rise of several meters and therefore it potentially affects the lives of many millions of people. ...


I'm prepped!

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Thu, Mar 8, 2012
from London Daily Telegraph:
Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat
In what could be the world's first climate-induced migration of modern times, Anote Tong, the Kiribati president, said he was in talks with Fiji's military government to buy up to 5,000 acres of freehold land on which his countrymen could be housed. Some of Kiribati's 32 pancake-flat coral atolls, which straddle the equator over 1,350,000 square miles of ocean, are already disappearing beneath the waves. Most of its 113,000 people are crammed on to Tarawa, the administrative centre, a chain of islets which curve in a horseshoe shape around a lagoon. "This is the last resort, there's no way out of this one," Mr Tong said. ...


I propose these Kiribatians be replaced in their homeland by climate skeptics.

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Wed, Feb 8, 2012
from MSNBC:
NASA satellites show how our icy world is melting
The melt-off from the world's ice sheets, ice caps and glaciers over eight years of the past decade would have been enough to cover the United States in about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of water, according to new research based on the most-comprehensive analysis of satellite data yet. Data, collected for the years 2003 through 2010, indicates that melting ice raised sea levels worldwide by an average of 1.48 millimeters (0.06 inches) each year. The loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica has already been measured using satellite data, but the new analysis revealed that melting ice elsewhere accounted for about 0.41 mm (0.016 inches) of the annual rise.... The new data confirmed that most of the melting happened on ice-covered Greenland and Antarctica, where enough ice melted to raise sea levels by 1.06 millimeters (0.042 inches) per year between January 2003 and December 2010, the study period.... ...


And they say we have a fresh-water problem. I'm up to my knees in it!

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Mon, Feb 6, 2012
from National Geographic News:
Giant Crack in Antarctica About to Spawn New York-Size Iceberg
With a gargantuan crack slowly splitting it apart, Antarctica's fastest-melting glacier is about to lose a chunk of ice larger than all of New York City, scientists say... Snaking across the floating tongue of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica, the crack is expected to create an iceberg 350 square miles (907 square kilometers) -- versus 303 square miles (785 square kilometers) for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx combined, according to NASA. ...


Couldn't they come up with a city less associated with plumbers!?

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Mon, Dec 19, 2011
from Washington Post:
Virginia residents oppose preparations for climate-related sea-level rise
...A well-organized and vocal group of residents has taken a keen interest in municipal preparations for sea-level rise caused by climate change, often shouting their opposition, sometimes while planners and politicians are talking. The residents' opposition has focused on a central point: They don't think climate change is accelerated by human activity, as most climate scientists conclude..."Environmentalists have always had an agenda to put nature above man," said Donna Holt, leader of the Virginia Campaign for Liberty, a tea party affiliate with 7,000 members. ...


Man comes first; nature second. Women are a distant third.

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Tue, Nov 22, 2011
from Associated Press:
Greenhouse gases soar; scientists see little chance of arresting global warming this century
Heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are building up so high, so fast, that some scientists now think the world can no longer limit global warming to the level world leaders have agreed upon as safe. New figures from the U.N. weather agency Monday showed that the three biggest greenhouse gases not only reached record levels last year but were increasing at an ever-faster rate, despite efforts by many countries to reduce emissions. ...


This story brought to you by the Duh-partment of Duh.

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Wed, Nov 2, 2011
from Our Amazing Planet:
Huge Crack Discovered in Antarctic Glacier
A huge, emerging crack has been discovered in one of Antarctica's glaciers, with a NASA plane mission providing the first-ever detailed airborne measurements of a major iceberg breakup in progress... The crack was found in Pine Island Glacier, which last calved a significant iceberg in 2001; some scientists have speculated recently that it was primed to calve again. But until an Oct. 14 IceBridge flight, no one had seen any evidence of the ice shelf beginning to break apart. Since then, a more detailed look back at satellite imagery seems to show the first signs of the crack in early October...When the iceberg breaks free, it will cover about 340 square miles (880 square kilometers) of surface area. Radar measurements suggested the ice shelf in the region of the rift is about 1,640 feet (500 meters) feet thick, with only about 160 feet of the shelf floating above water and the rest submerged. ...


This crack is bigger'n my plumber's!

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Tue, Oct 18, 2011
from via ScienceDaily:
Sea Levels to Continue to Rise for 500 Years? Long-Term Climate Calculations Suggest So
Rising sea levels in the coming centuries is perhaps one of the most catastrophic consequences of rising temperatures. Massive economic costs, social consequences and forced migrations could result from global warming. But how frightening of times are we facing? Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute are part of a team that has calculated the long-term outlook for rising sea levels in relation to the emission of greenhouse gases and pollution of the atmosphere using climate models.... Even in the most optimistic scenario, which requires extremely dramatic climate change goals, major technological advances and strong international cooperation to stop emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere, the sea would continue to rise. ...


So much for trying to look on the bright side.

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Wed, Oct 5, 2011
from Associated Press:
Only bottled water to drink in rain-starved swath of South Pacific as sea levels rise
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Crops are wilting, schools have shut their bathrooms and government officials are bathing in lagoons because of a severe shortage of fresh water in a swath of the South Pacific. The island groups of Tuvalu and Tokelau have declared emergencies, relying on bottled water and seeking more desalination machines. Parts of Samoa are starting to ration water. Supplies are precariously low after a severe lack of rain in a region where underground reserves have been fouled by saltwater from rising seas that scientists have linked to climate change. ...


Have these people never heard of stilts?!?

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Thu, Sep 29, 2011
from New York Times:
Shanghai Struggles to Save Itself From the Sea
Some 1,000 years ago, the Chinese named this city "Shanghai" based on its location. It literally means "above the sea." Those pioneers probably never imagined the situation that confronts this city today: Shanghai is on its way to being below the sea. Climate change is pushing up the sea level globally. While in Shanghai, such rise is roughly the length of a rice grain in each of recent years, the low-lying city with a population of more than 20 million has had to pour billions of dollars into rebuilding infrastructure to protect against potential floods. It is also revising its growth plans, hoping to reduce its vulnerabilities. ...


From Shanghai... to Shanglow...

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Fri, Aug 5, 2011
from Maggie Koerth-Baker, on BoingBoing:
Climate change and earthquakes: It's complicated
This is a story that contains a whole lot of yesbut. Yes, it really does make sense that climate change could trigger earthquakes. But it's very, very unlikely that that effect is responsible for any of the monster quakes we've experienced recently. And behind that apparent contradiction lies some really, really interesting science. Let's start with a quick overview of why scientists think climate change and earthquakes are connected.... It begins with the forces that cause earthquakes. The surface of this planet, what we see, is actually the crust--just the crispy coating on a ball of nougat. The crust is broken up into large pieces and those pieces move over the surface of the gooey mass beneath. At the borders, the pieces of the crust are riddled with faults. These are places where the crust has broken and different pieces are moving in different directions--away from each other, towards each other, or slipping past one another.... Basically, it boils down to this: Climate change can trigger earthquakes. There's evidence that naturally occurring climate change did that in the past. There's some evidence that anthropogenic climate change might be doing that today. And there's evidence that we could see more climate change-related earthquakes in the future. But, if you're actually concerned about evidence (and you should be) then you can't go around, pointing to earthquakes that make the news today, and calling them consequences of climate change. And we can't oversimplify research to the point of forgetting all the yesbut. ...


Evidence is for people who don't watch FOXnews.

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Tue, Aug 2, 2011
from PNAS, via Irish Weather Online:
Small Amounts Of Warming Could Trigger Rapid Ice Shelf Collapse
Only small amounts of subsurface warming of water is required to trigger a rapid collapse of ice shelves, according to a new report to be published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... The findings, the researchers say, provide historical evidence that warming of water by 3-4 degrees was enough to trigger these huge, episodic discharges of ice from the Laurentide Ice Sheet in what is now Canada. They claim the results are important due to concerns that warmer water could cause a comparatively fast collapse of ice shelves in Antarctica or Greenland, increasing the flow of ice into the ocean and raising sea levels. One of the most vulnerable areas, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, would raise global sea level by about 11 feet if it were all to melt. "We don't know whether or not water will warm enough to cause this type of phenomenon," said Shaun Marcott, a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University (OSU) and lead author of the report. "But it would be a serious concern if it did, and this demonstrates that melting of this type has occurred before." ...


Then we'd better stop all that hot air coming from the scientists!

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Fri, Jul 1, 2011
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Ocean currents speed melting of Antarctic ice
Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say - a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels.... "More warm water from the deep ocean is entering the cavity beneath the ice shelf, and it is warmest where the ice is thickest," said study's lead author.... One goal was to study oceanic changes near the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, which they had visited in an earlier expedition, in 1994. The researchers found that in 15 years, melting beneath the ice shelf had risen by about 50 percent. ...


Is it melting half-faster, or not-melting half-slower?

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Tue, Jun 21, 2011
from NSF, via EurekAlert:
Fastest sea-level rise in 2 millennia linked to increasing global temperatures
he rate of sea level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years--and has shown a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature and sea level. The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).... The team found that sea level was relatively stable from 200 BC to 1,000 AD. Then in the 11th century, sea level rose by about half a millimeter each year for 400 years, linked with a warm climate period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Then there was a second period of stable sea level during a cooler period called the Little Ice Age. It persisted until the late 19th century. Since the late 19th century, sea level has risen by more than 2 millimeters per year on average, the steepest rate for more than 2,100 years. "Sea-level rise is a potentially disastrous outcome of climate change," says Horton, "as rising temperatures melt land-based ice, and warm ocean waters." ...


It can be beautiful when the laws of physics work together.

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Tue, Jun 7, 2011
from Associated Press:
Greenhouse gas emissions hitting record highs
Despite 20 years of effort, greenhouse gas emissions are going up instead of down, hitting record highs as climate negotiators gather to debate a new global warming accord. The new report by the International Energy Agency showing high emissions from fossil fuels is one of several pieces of bad news facing delegates from about 180 countries heading to Bonn, Germany, for two weeks of talks beginning Monday...The figures are "a serious setback" to hopes of limiting the rise in the Earth's average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.8 F) above preindustrial levels, he said. Any rise beyond that, scientists believe, could lead to catastrophic climate shifts affecting water supplies and global agriculture, setting off more frequent and fierce storms and causing a rise in sea levels that would endanger coastlines. ...


Sounds eerily like what's happening now.

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Wed, May 25, 2011
from Ohio State University via ScienceDaily:
Two Greenland Glaciers Lose Enough Ice to Fill Lake Erie
A new study aimed at refining the way scientists measure ice loss in Greenland is providing a "high-definition picture" of climate-caused changes on the island. And the picture isn't pretty. In the last decade, two of the largest three glaciers draining that frozen landscape have lost enough ice that, if melted, could have filled Lake Erie. The three glaciers -- Helheim, Kangerdlugssuaq and Jakobshavn Isbrae -- are responsible for as much as one-fifth of the ice flowing out from Greenland into the ocean. ...


This study makes me feel Kangerdlugssuaq all over!

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Tue, May 17, 2011
from St. Petersburg Times:
Once a major issue in Florida, climate change concerns few in Tallahassee
...In low-lying Florida, where 95 percent of the population lives within 35 miles of its 1,200 miles of coastline, a swelling of the tides could cause serious problems. So what is Florida's Department of Environmental Protection doing about dealing with climate change? "DEP is not pursuing any programs or projects regarding climate change," an agency spokeswoman said in an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times last week. "That's a crying shame," said former Gov. Charlie Crist...Crist's successor, Gov. Rick Scott, doesn't think climate change is real, even though it's accepted as fact by everyone from NASA to the Army to the Vatican. "I've not been convinced that there's any man-made climate change," Scott said last week. "Nothing's convinced me that there is." ...


Floriduh!

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Thu, May 5, 2011
from Associated Press:
Climate scientists told to 'stop speaking in code'
Scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming were told Wednesday to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt in the region to a world reluctant to take action against climate change. An authoritative report released at the meeting of nearly 400 scientists in Copenhagen showed melting ice in the Arctic could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, much higher than earlier projections…Prominent U.S. climate scientist Robert Corell said researchers must try to reach out to all parts of society to spread awareness of the global implications of the Arctic melt. "Stop speaking in code. Rather than 'anthropogenic,' you could say 'human caused,'" Corell said. ...


Or you could just say: We're fucked.

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Tue, May 3, 2011
from AP:
New report confirms Arctic melt accelerating
A new assessment of climate change in the Arctic shows the ice in the region is melting faster than previously thought and sharply raises projections of global sea level rise this century.... A summary of the key findings obtained by the AP on Tuesday shows Arctic temperatures during that period were the highest since measurements began in 1880.... It said melting Arctic glaciers and ice caps are projected to help raise global sea levels by 35 to 63 inches ... by 2100. That's up from a 2007 projection of 7 to 23 inches ... by the U.N.'s scientific panel on climate change. ...


That's only a factor of three. Pfft.

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Mon, May 2, 2011
from Reuters:
African ocean current could boost Gulf Stream: study
An ocean current that flows down the east coast of Africa could strengthen a circulation pattern that brings warmth to Europe, according to a new study that challenges existing climate science. In a study in the latest issue of the journal Nature, scientists examining the Agulhas Current found more of the current's warm, salty water was entering the southern Atlantic, whose waters are cooler and fresher. This in turn could strengthen the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic that brings warm waters and warmer temperatures to northern Europe. Until now, most studies suggest climate change would weaken the Gulf Stream over the coming decades. In a further twist, the research team led by Lisa Beal of the University of Miami found signs that climate change had boosted the amount of water from the Agulhas current "leaking" into the south Atlantic over the past few decades.... "This could mean that current IPCC model predictions for the next century are wrong, and there will be no cooling in the North Atlantic to partially offset the effects of global climate change over North America and Europe," said Beal.... The researchers found evidence to suggest dramatic peaks in the flow of water from the Agulhas current over the past 500,000 years may have triggered the end of glacial cycles. They also found the current had been warming since the 1960s and a general movement south of warmer Indian Ocean waters, patterns consistent with climate change. ...


Maybe we need to see the MPCC model, in which Murphy's Law is invoked.

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Fri, Apr 22, 2011
from Alaska Dispatch:
Arctic glacier meltdown accelerates
Glaciers in the Canadian High Arctic -- home to about one third of the world's ice outside of the continental sheets of Antarctica and Greenland -- are melting away much faster than anybody realized. Between 2004 and 2009, the frigid runoff from the ice tongues of Ellesmere, Baffin and hundreds of other islands in the Canadian Far North would have filled Lake Erie three quarters full, according to a new study published this week in the journal of Nature. Toward the end of that period, the accumulated meltdown had surpassed the runoff from the glaciers rimming the Gulf of Alaska and became the greatest single contributor to global sea-level rise outside the continental sheets... ...


Happy Earth Day

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Mon, Apr 18, 2011
from The Independent:
Arctic coastlines recede by 'several metres' a year
Arctic coastlines are crumbling away and retreating at the rate of two metres or more a year due to the effects of climate change. In some locations, up to 30 metres of the shore has been vanishing every year. The rapid rate of coastal erosion poses a major threat to local communities and ecosystems, according to a new report by more than 30 scientists from 10 countries. Rising temperatures are melting protective sea ice fringing the coastlines, leaving them more exposed to the elements, the experts say. The report, State of the Arctic Coast 2010, says 10-year average rates of coastal retreat are "typically in the one to two metres per year range, but vary up to 10 to 30 metres per year in some locations". Worst-hit areas include the Beaufort Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea.... The scientists stressed that the coastal habitats were the prime lifeline for Arctic communities, supporting a large population of fish, birds and mammals including an estimated 500 million seabirds. ...


Are you saying the wildlife doesn't like fresh coastline every year?

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Sun, Apr 17, 2011
from Hot Topic:
The trillionth ton
If we want to give ourselves a 75 percent chance of coming in below a 2 degree C rise in the global average temperature, then we (as in all humanity) can emit around one trillion tonnes of CO2 (for more see Meinshausen et al here, discussed in the context of emissions targets at HT in this post). It doesn't much matter when we do the emitting, because CO2 hangs around in the atmosphere for a long time, but stick to that limit we must if we're serious about avoiding damaging warming. I like that way of thinking about the issue, as I noted in my report on the Forum, but it seems that I may have been rather optimistic about the height of the ceiling we're living under, and our chances of hitting a 2 degree C target. A new study by a team of Canadian climate modellers, Arora et al, Carbon emission limits required to satisfy future representative concentration pathways of greenhouse gases in Geophysical Research Letters..., suggests that: "... we have already surpassed the cumulative emission limit and so emissions must ramp down to zero immediately. The unprecedented reduction in fossil‐fuel emissions implied by either of these scenarios suggests that it is unlikely that warming can be limited to the 2 degrees C target agreed to in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord." Bugger. ...


Oh heck, stop worrying. Somebody'll think of something. Sometime.

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Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Australia ABC News:
Ice melt a weighty problem: expert
Melting ice sheets could cause a redistribution of the world's gravitational field causing higher than expected rises in sea level for some parts of the world, according to a senior Australian scientist. Dr John Church, chief research scientist with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, says the full effect of this shift in gravity hasn't been factored into sea level rise predictions....the gravitational effect is lost and sea levels will be slightly lower than expected around the icy regions, but higher than expected in far away places such as New York or the Pacific islands. ...


Does this massive global shift make my butt look big?

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Tue, Apr 5, 2011
from New Scientist:
Gulf Stream could be threatened by Arctic flush
Rapid warming in the Arctic is creating a new and fast-growing pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean. Measuring at least 7500 cubic kilometres, it could flush into the Atlantic Ocean and slow the Gulf Stream, bringing colder winters to Europe. The water is mostly coming from melting permafrost and rising rainfall, which is increasing flows in Siberian rivers that drain into the Arctic, such as the Ob and Yenisei. More comes from melting sea ice, says Laura de Steur of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research in 't Horntje, who is tracking the build-up.... "Sea ice is melting quicker. It is thinner and more mobile, and could exit the Arctic faster. Also more of it will enter the Atlantic as liquid water rather than ice." A dramatic freshening of the North Atlantic could disrupt the engine of a global ocean circulation system called the thermohaline circulation, or ocean conveyor. This system, of which the Gulf Stream forms a part, is driven by dense, salty water in the North Atlantic plunging to the ocean bottom near Greenland. ...


Thermohaline disruption just doesn't feel very catchy to me.

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Mon, Apr 4, 2011
from PhysOrg:
Declining mangroves shield against global warming
Mangroves, which have declined by up to half over the last 50 years, are an important bulkhead against climate change, a study released on Sunday has shown for the first time.... Destruction of these tropical coastal woodlands accounts for about 10 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation, the second largest source of CO2 after fossil fuel combustion, the study found. Fewer trees not only mean less CO2 absorbed from the air, but also the release of carbon stocks that have been accumulating in shallow-water sediment over millennia. Mangroves -- whose twisted, exposed roots grace coastlines in more than 100 countries -- confer many benefits on humans living in their midst. The brackish tidal waters in which the trees thrive are a natural nursery for dozens of species of fish and shrimp essential to commercial fisheries around the world. Another major "ecosystem service," in the jargon of environmental science, is protection from hurricanes and storm surges. ...


I bet that passive-voice "decline" has an active causal agent behind it.

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Tue, Mar 29, 2011
from Our Amazing Planet:
Oceans May Be Speeding Melt of Greenland's Glaciers
Dynamic layers of warm Atlantic and cold Arctic Ocean waters around Greenland may be speeding the melt of the country's glaciers, researchers find. "Over the last 15 years or so, the Greenland Ice Sheet has been putting a lot more ice into the ocean," said Fiammetta Straneo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Massachusetts, who has spent years studying the ice-coated country that is currently responsible for about a quarter of worldwide sea level rise. "We're trying to understand why, as we thought ice sheets changed on much longer timescales, like thousands of years," she told OurAmazingPlanet. Researchers know that warm air over Greenland melts surface snow and ice, but this process doesn't do enough melting to explain the extent of the glaciers' rapid retreat. ...


Maybe the glaciers are simply recoiling from the horror!

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Thu, Mar 17, 2011
from CBC:
Storm surges the new normal, P.E.I. warned
Coastal communities along P.E.I.'s North Shore need to prepare themselves for the impacts from climate change, a watershed management group was told Tuesday night. About two dozen residents gathered at the North Rustico Lions Club to hear a panel of experts discuss how climate change will hit North Shore communities. Flooding from storm surges, a combination of high tides and water driven on shore by strong winds, was a major focus of the meeting. "We're going to see bigger storm surges and they're going to occur more frequently," said Erin Taylor, climate change coordinator for the provincial Department of Environment. Taylor said storm surges like the one the North Shore saw on Dec. 21, in the 3.6-metre range, currently come about once every 20 years. By the 2050s, they are expected to happen once every two years. ...


At least there's order to that magnitude.

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Wed, Mar 16, 2011
from Montreal Gazette:
Could global warming be causing recent earthquakes?
Severe earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and now Japan have experts around the world asking whether the world's tectonic plates are becoming more active -- and what could be causing it. Some scientists theorize that the sudden melting of glaciers due to man-made climate change is lightening the load on the Earth's surface, allowing its mantle to rebound upwards and causing plates to become unstuck....The surface of the Earth is elastic. A heavy load such as a glacier will cause it to sink, pushing aside the liquid rock underneath. ...


Regardless, these earthquakes are good practice for the Apocalypse.

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Sat, Mar 12, 2011
from New York Times:
Polar Ice Loss Is Accelerating, Scientists Say
...On Wednesday, a research team led by a NASA scientist unveiled a new study that is sure to stir debate on the topic. The paper concludes that ice loss from both Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating, and that the ice sheets' impact on the rise in sea levels in the first half of the 21st century will be substantially higher than previous studies had projected. The increasing ice loss means that, for the first time, Greenland and Antarctica appear to be adding more to sea-level rise than the world's other reserves of ice -- primarily mountain glaciers, which are also melting because of rising temperatures. In 2006 alone, the study estimated that the two ice sheets lost roughly 475 billion metric tons of ice.... If the rates of melting observed in the study were to continue, the ice sheets could add nearly six inches to the rise in global sea levels in the next forty years -- a far larger contribution than the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international scientific body, has projected. ...


Six inches in 40 years? I can crawl away from that!

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Tue, Mar 8, 2011
from NASA, via ScienceDaily:
Melting Ice Sheets Now Largest Contributor to Sea Level Rise
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new NASA-funded satellite study. The findings of the study -- the longest to date of changes in polar ice sheet mass -- suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth's mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have predicted.... The nearly 20-year study reveals that in 2006, a year in which comparable results for mass loss in mountain glaciers and ice caps are available from a separate study conducted using other methods, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets lost a combined mass of 475 gigatonnes a year on average. That's enough to raise global sea level by an average of 1.3 millimeters (.05 inches) a year... The pace at which the polar ice sheets are losing mass was found to be accelerating rapidly. Each year over the course of the study, the two ice sheets lost a combined average of 36.3 gigatonnes more than they did the year before.... "What is surprising is this increased contribution by the ice sheets is already happening. If present trends continue, sea level is likely to be significantly higher than levels projected by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007. Our study helps reduce uncertainties in near-term projections of sea level rise." ...


I hear Charlie Sheen is #winning!

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Thu, Feb 3, 2011
from Earth Institute, Columbia University:
In the Arctic More Than Elsewhere, Things Are Heating Up
Today's water temperatures are roughly 2.5 degrees F above what they were during the Medieval Warm Period, which affected the North Atlantic from about 900 - 1300 A.D. and altered the climates of Northern Europe and northern North America. The authors of the study hypothesize that this recent rise in water temperature in the Fram Strait is related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic.... Based on their studies, the team of researchers behind the study believes that a number of recent trends (including the rapid warming of the Arctic, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the warming of the North Atlantic) are interrelated.... Both methods demonstrated a sharp rise in the abundance of warmer-water foraminifera in the last 100 years; for the first time in 2,000 years, this species became dominant over a cold-water variety.... [A] co-author of the CU-Boulder study recently stated he feels "fairly confident that what we are seeing today is largely an anthropogenic signal." ...


I'm "fairly confident" that signal is saying STOP!

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Sun, Jan 30, 2011
from Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
Alaska seeing impact of climate change in its infrastructure, villages
Climate change has already begun to make life difficult for state transportation managers. And they expect it to become a bigger and more expensive challenge if warming trends continue as predicted. "With over 6,600 miles of coastline and 80 percent of the state underlaid by ice-rich permafrost, you can certainly imagine we are at the forefront of climate change impacts," said Mike Coffey, maintenance and operations chief for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Coffey discussed the impact of climate change on transportation in a webinar last week, hosted by the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. New challenges include warming permafrost, coastal erosion and the potential for more dramatic storms and flooding, he said. These could lead to more highways and facilities cracking, icing up or even washing away. The hardest-hit areas are northern, western and Interior Alaska, where roads and structures are built over permafrost and near the coast. ...


Benefits of climate change include seeing Russia more easily from Alaskan windows.

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Mon, Jan 24, 2011
from International Business Times:
Greenland Ice Sheets Melt At Record Rate In 2010
"Melting in 2010 started exceptionally early at the end of April and ended quite late in mid- September," Tedesco said in a statement. "This past melt season was exceptional, with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average." A melting Greenland ice sheet contributes to sea level rise, which has occurred at a mean rate of about 1.8 millimeters per year over the past century. If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt completely it would raise sea levels by 7 meters. But that is unlikely to happen for several centuries at least. One reason for the record-breaking melt was that summer temperatures in the Arctic were 2-3 degrees C (5.4 degrees F) warmer than normal. Greenland's capital, Nuuk, experienced temperatures higher than any since 1873, when weather records started being been kept there. NASA data showed that 2010 was tied with 2005 as, globally, the warmest year on record. ...


Greenland is trying to live up to its name!

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Sat, Jan 22, 2011
from Climatewire:
Greenland's Ice Feels the Heat in Record-Setting 2010
Greenland's massive ice sheet experienced record surface melting and runoff last year, according to research released today. Unusually warm conditions in much of the country helped extend the annual melting season by up to 50 days longer in 2010 than the average observed between 1979 and 2009, researchers found... Last year was the warmest in Greenland's capital, Nuuk, since record keeping began there in 1873. Nuuk, on the country's southwest coast, also set records in 2010 for warmest winter, spring and summer seasons. ...


We're Nuuked!

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Sun, Jan 9, 2011
from Berlingske Tidende, via DesdemonaDespair:
Greenland's melting seems unstoppable
No matter how much we turn down the CO2-burner, Greenland will still reach a significant turning point by around 2040, writes Berlingske Tidende.... "It is a very troubling result, because it shows that the melting can go much stronger than we usually imagine," says one of the article's authors, Jens Hesselberg Christensen, Berlingske Tidende.... "Based on our model, I would almost argue that the time has already passed. Our results indicate in principle that continuous melting is inevitable," says Jens Hesselberg. ...


Thank goodness this is from Bizarro-Earth, where "inevitable" means "never going to happen."

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Sun, Jan 9, 2011
from canada.com:
Another century of emissions will fuel 1,000 years of climate change: Study
Shawn Marshall says he's not a catastrophist. The world will still be standing in the next millennium if global carbon emissions continue at their current rate for the next 100 years, says the Canada research chair in climate change, who contributed to a study released Sunday. "I have a feeling a lot of nature will adapt and evolve to this, it's just we'll lose some stuff on the way," he said. "I mean, we've seen pretty clearly that coral reefs can't adapt quickly, so we'll lose some of that. We'll lose some of our favourite ski areas, a number of different cities like Venice or Manhattan." Marshall, a geography professor at the University of Calgary, recently completed work with a team of researchers from an Environment Canada research laboratory at the University of Victoria.... They found that current carbon dioxide levels will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1,000 years, which could cause an eventual rise of at least four metres in the global sea level by the year 3000, as well as the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet -- an area the size of Canada's prairies. "There's no way to get around that," Marshall said. "If we get that much cumulative impact on the atmosphere and the warm water gets under the ice sheet, there's no real way out." The researchers acknowledged that it's unrealistic to think society will suddenly one day stop using fossil fuels and pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. ...


Good thing he's not a catastrophist!

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Sun, Dec 19, 2010
from Toronto Globe and Mail:
On the move in a warming world: The rise of climate refugees
... Across the Sahel, a band of semi-arid land south of the Sahara stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, an estimated 10 million people suffered food shortages this year, including 850,000 children who are acutely malnourished and could die without urgent care. In the Sahel region of Chad, more than 20 per cent of children are acutely malnourished, on top of a chronic malnutrition rate of about 50 per cent. In some regions, mothers are desperately digging into anthills in search of tiny grains and seeds for their children. And this is just one of many places around the world where the changing climate has left the people dependent on foreign aid. When the 190-nation climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, staggered to an end last weekend, there was no binding agreement on curbing carbon emissions and no sign of a treaty to replace the soon-expiring Kyoto Protocol. The negotiators will try again next December. But regardless of those negotiations, the facts on the ground will not change: The climate is growing more precarious, and millions of people are on the move. The question now is whether to encourage them to migrate - or to salvage their ravaged land with long-term investment, instead of simply handing out emergency aid. ...


Is there no other option, such as colonizing Mars? C'mon, people, where's the can-do vision?

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Sun, Dec 5, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
At climate summit, they're feeling like deserted islands
...As the 12-day [Cancun] summit moves into high gear this week, small island nations may be the noisiest critics, but they are hardly alone in their frustration that a legally binding agreement to reduce planet-heating pollutants has no chance to be concluded here. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Wednesday that the Cancun talks "won't result in anything" because no major leaders are attending. Climate negotiations in Copenhagen ended in acrimony last year, with 120 heads of state, including President Obama, in attendance. This year, except for a few leaders of smaller nations, ministers and diplomats are doing the talking. ...


So... leaders showing up doesn't work, and leaders NOT showing up doesn't work. What on earth will work?

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Mon, Nov 29, 2010
from Scientific American:
Worst case study: global temp up 7.2F degrees by 2060s
World temperatures could soar by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the 2060s in the worst case of global climate change and require an annual investment of $270 billion just to contain rising sea levels, studies suggested on Sunday. Such a rapid rise, within the lifetimes of many young people today, is double the 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) ceiling set by 140 governments at a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen last year and would disrupt food and water supplies in many parts of the globe. Rising greenhouse gas emissions this decade meant the 2 degree goal was "extremely difficult, arguably impossible, raising the likelihood of global temperature rises of 3 or 4 degrees C within this century," an international team wrote.... One of the papers gave what it called a "pragmatic estimate" that sea levels might rise by between 0.5 and 2 meters (1.64 to 6.56 feet) by 2100 if temperatures rose 4 degrees Celsius. Containing a sea level rise of 2 meters, mostly building Dutch-style sea walls, would require annual investments of up to $270 billion a year by 2100. ...


Good news, since our worst case scenarios are much worser.

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Sun, Nov 28, 2010
from London Observer:
A billion people will lose their homes due to climate change, says report
Devastating changes to sea levels, rainfall, water supplies, weather systems and crop yields are increasingly likely before the end of the century, scientists will warn tomorrow. A special report, to be released at the start of climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, will reveal that up to a billion people face losing their homes in the next 90 years because of failures to agree curbs on carbon emissions. Up to three billion people could lose access to clean water supplies because global temperatures cannot now be stopped from rising by 4C. ...


Cancun is going to be even more fun than Copenhagen!

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Sun, Nov 14, 2010
from New York Times:
As Glaciers Melt, Scientists Seek New Data on Rising Seas
...As a result of recent calculations that take the changes into account, many scientists now say that sea level is likely to rise perhaps three feet by 2100 -- an increase that, should it come to pass, would pose a threat to coastal regions the world over. And the calculations suggest that the rise could conceivably exceed six feet, which would put thousands of square miles of the American coastline under water and would probably displace tens of millions of people in Asia... A large majority of climate scientists argue that heat-trapping gases are almost certainly playing a role in what is happening to the world's land ice. They add that the lack of policies to limit emissions is raising the risk that the ice will go into an irreversible decline before this century is out, a development that would eventually make a three-foot rise in the sea look trivial. ...


This will be remembered, my friends, as the Age of Fiddling Around.

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Mon, Nov 8, 2010
from Toronto Star:
Climate change prosperity or disparity?
What do you do when your entire homeland is slipping into the sea? This is the earth-shattering reality facing the Polynesian nation of Tuvalu, rapidly being reclaimed by the Pacific owing to rising sea levels. For the families of this small, slivered island nation, climate change is not something to prepare for in the distant future; it is a reality leading to the melting of polar ice caps and currently stripping them of their homes, their livelihoods and their ancestry. The plight of the Tuvalu islanders is just one heart-rending example of "environmental refugees" -- persons displaced, often permanently, from their homes owing to extreme weather events, such as floods, desertification and rising sea levels. ...


Too-da-loo, Tuvalu...

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Wed, Nov 3, 2010
from New York Times:
Rising Seas and the Groundwater Equation
Worldwide overpumping of groundwater, particularly in northern India, Iran, Mexico, northeastern China and the American West, more than doubled from 1960 to 2000 and is responsible for about 25 percent of the rise in sea level, according to estimates in a new study by a team of Dutch researchers published in Geophysical Review Letters. The general idea that groundwater used for irrigation is running off into ocean-bound rivers or evaporating into the clouds, only to end up raining into the ocean, has been around for two decades or so; it was a focus of a 2005 paper in The Journal of Hydrogeology. But Peter H. Gleick, a leading expert on water issues, said the new paper offers a fresh way of quantifying the phenomenon. Mr. Gleick, president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, said that experts on groundwater issues "have known for a long time that that water ultimately ends up in the oceans and contributes to sea level rise. What we haven't known is the magnitude and severity of the problem." ...


The sky IS falling!

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Wed, Sep 22, 2010
from Miller-McCune:
Climate Change Could Spell Disaster for National Parks
Glacier National Park in Montana, one of the 10 oldest parks in the United States, is celebrating its centennial this year, but its glaciers won't be around for another 100 years: They will melt away by 2030, if not sooner, because of global warming. In California, Joshua Tree National Park is preparing to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2011, but the trees themselves, iconic symbols and "life centers" of the Mojave Desert, are projected to die out this century. Joshua trees need winter freezes to flower and produce seed, and the Mojave is heating up...In a strategic plan released this month, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis calls climate change "the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks that we have ever experienced." ...


Even more of a threat... than snowmobiles?

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Thu, Sep 9, 2010
from Science2.0, via DesdemonaDespair:
Greenland, West Antarctic Ice Caps Melting At Half The Speed Previously Predicted
The Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps are melting at half the speed previously predicted, shows a team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, The Netherlands) and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research in Nature Geoscience. The melting of the ice caps has been charted since 2002 using the measurements produced by the two GRACE satellites. From space they detect small changes in the Earth's gravitational field and these changes are related to the exact distribution of mass on Earth, including ice and water. When ice melts and lands in the sea, this therefore has an effect on the gravitational field. Based on this principle, previous estimates for the Greenland ice cap calculated that the ice was melting at a rate of 230 giga-tons per year (i.e. 230,000 billion kg), which would result in an average rise in global sea levels of around 0.75 mm a year. For West Antarctica, the estimate was 132 giga-tons per year. However, it now turns out that these results were not properly corrected for glacial isostatic adjustment, the phenomenon that the Earth's crust rebounds as a result of the melting of the massive ice caps from the last major Ice Age around 20,000 years ago. These movements of the Earth's crust have to be incorporated in the calculations, since these vertical movements change the Earth's mass distribution and therefore also have an influence on the gravitational field. ...


Finally, science proves that science is wrong.

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Sun, Sep 5, 2010
from The Asian Age:
Indian Ocean rising faster than others
Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean have led Indian scientists to conclude that the Indian Ocean is rising faster than other oceans. Dr Satheesh C. Shenoi, director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Infor-mation Services, speaking at a workshop on "Coasts, Coastal Populations and their Concerns" organised by the Centre for Science and Environment, warned that sea surface measurements and satellite observations confirm that an anthropogenic climate warming is amplifying regional sea rise changes in the Indian Ocean. This would have far-reaching impacts on the climate of vulnerable nations, including the coastlines on the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka and parts of Indonesia as a result of human-induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases. ...


Being ahead of everyone else ain't always a good thing.

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Mon, Aug 30, 2010
from PhysOrg:
Climate change implicated in decline of horseshoe crabs
While the current decline in horseshoe crabs is attributed in great part to overharvest for fishing bait and for the pharmaceutical industry, the new research indicates that climate change also appears to have historically played a role in altering the numbers of successfully reproducing horseshoe crabs. More importantly, said King, predicted future climate change, with its accompanying sea-level rise and water temperature fluctuations, may well limit horseshoe crab distribution and interbreeding, resulting in distributional changes and localized and regional population declines, such as happened after the last Ice Age.... "Population size decreases of these ancient mariners have implications beyond the obvious," King said. "Genetic diversity is the most fundamental level of biodiversity, providing the raw material for evolutionary processes to act upon and affording populations the opportunity to adapt to their surroundings. For this reason, the low effective population sizes indicated in the new study give one pause." ...


Those horseshoes are just unlucky.

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Wed, Aug 25, 2010
from Climatewire:
If a Country Sinks Beneath the Sea, Is It Still a Country?
Rising ocean levels brought about by climate change have created a flood of unprecedented legal questions for small island nations and their neighbors. Among them: If a country disappears, is it still a country? Does it keep its seat at the United Nations? Who controls its offshore mineral rights? Its shipping lanes? Its fish? And if entire populations are forced to relocate -- as could be the case with citizens of the Maldives, Tuvalu, Kiribati and other small island states facing extinction -- what citizenship, if any, can those displaced people claim? ...


If a tree on a submerged island falls and there's no one there to hear it, will it drown?

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Tue, Aug 24, 2010
from PNAS, via Scientific American:
All-out geoengineering still would not stop sea level rise
Mimicking volcanoes by throwing particles high into the sky. Maintaining a floating armada of mirrors in space. Burning plant and other organic waste to make charcoal and burying it--or burning it as fuel and burying the CO2 emissions. Even replanting trees. All have been mooted as potential methods of "geoengineering"--"deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment," as the U.K.'s Royal Society puts it.... Arguably a more devastating consequence would be the rise of the seas as warmer waters expand and melting icecaps fill ocean basins higher, potentially swamping nations and the estimated 150 million people living within one meter of high tide. Can geoengineering hold back that tide? That's what scientists attempted to assess with computer models in a paper published online August 23 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In their words, "sea level rise by 2100 will likely be 30 centimeters higher than 2000 levels despite all but the most aggressive geoengineeering." In large part, that's because the ocean has a lot of thermal inertia: it only slowly warms as a result of increasing greenhouse gas levels--and it will only slowly cool down again.... Perhaps the only way to reduce warming enough to minimize the rise of the oceans is an all-out effort that also includes burning biomass as fuel (either to replace coal or gasoline or both) and pairing it with CO2 capture and storage. Together, they could suck down greenhouse gas levels by 180 ppm--more than enough to bring us below pre-industrial levels. As a result, sea level rise is held to just 10 centimers by 2100, according to the author's modeling. Such extensive geoengineering seems impractical given its economic (and environmental) cost. ...


We can't just build an armada of floating refrigerators?

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Tue, Aug 17, 2010
from Telegraph, via DesdemonaDespair:
Ice sheet in Greenland melting at record rate
The Greenland ice sheet is melting at a record rate due to global warming, according to a British-led expedition currently taking measurements from the treacherous glaciers.... The finding immediately raises fears about the long term effect on rising sea levels and ultimately 'positive feedbacks' as water absorbs more heat than ice, therefore speeding up the warming effect.... "It is not a freak event and is certainly a manifestation of warming. This year marks yet another record breaking melt year in Greenland; temperatures and melt across the entire ice sheet have exceeded those in 2007 and of historical records."... The new research comes as scientists from Pennsylvania State University warned that temperature rise of between 2C and 7C would cause the entire ice mass of Greenland to melt, resulting in 23ft rise in sea level. ...


Maybe I can get my beachfront property by just stayin' home!

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Tue, Aug 10, 2010
from Guardian:
Greenland ice sheet faces 'tipping point in 10 years'
The entire ice mass of Greenland will disappear from the world map if temperatures rise by as little as 2C, with severe consequences for the rest of the world, a panel of scientists told Congress today.... "Sometime in the next decade we may pass that tipping point which would put us warmer than temperatures that Greenland can survive," Alley told a briefing in Congress, adding that a rise in the range of 2C to 7C would mean the obliteration of Greenland's ice sheet. The fall-out would be felt thousands of miles away from the Arctic, unleashing a global sea level rise of 23ft (7 metres), Alley warned. Low-lying cities such as New Orleans would vanish. "What is going on in the Arctic now is the biggest and fastest thing that nature has ever done," he said.... "While we don't believe it is possible to lose an ice sheet within a decade, we do believe it is possible to reach a tipping point in a few decades in which we would lose the ice sheet in a century." ...


Thank God! Long after I'm dead!

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Sat, Aug 7, 2010
from AolNews:
Giant Ice Island Breaks Off From Greenland
A giant chunk of ice four times the size of Manhattan has broken off from one of Greenland's two biggest glaciers, creating the largest Arctic iceberg since 1962. The new ice island has a surface area of about 100 square miles and a thickness of about half the height of the Empire State Building. It broke off from the Petermann Glacier on Thursday, and was spotted by a NASA satellite sensor... Icebergs often break off from glaciers in summer, when the ice begins to melt and gets thinner in some areas, triggering cracks. The process has been exacerbated by global warming, and the melting of arctic glaciers could lead to a rise in global sea levels. ...


It better be a nice iceberg.

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Wed, Jul 14, 2010
from University of Colorado at Boulder via ScienceDaily:
Sea Levels Rising in Parts of Indian Ocean; Greenhouse Gases Play Role, Study Finds
Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java, appear to be at least partly a result of human-induced increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases, says a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The study, which combined sea surface measurements going back to the 1960s and satellite observations, indicates anthropogenic climate warming likely is amplifying regional sea rise changes in parts of the Indian Ocean, threatening inhabitants of some coastal areas and islands, said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Weiqing Han, lead study author. The sea level rise -- which may aggravate monsoon flooding in Bangladesh and India -- could have far-reaching impacts on both future regional and global climate. ...


At least maybe the encroaching ocean will be warm.

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Mon, Jul 12, 2010
from Reuters:
Rising sea drives Panama islanders to mainland
Rising seas from global warming, coming after years of coral reef destruction, are forcing thousands of indigenous Panamanians to leave their ancestral homes on low-lying Caribbean islands. Seasonal winds, storms and high tides combine to submerge the tiny islands, crowded with huts of yellow cane and faded palm fronds, leaving them ankle-deep in emerald water for days on end.... World leaders have failed so far to reach a global accord to curb the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change. A U.N. climate change conference later this year in Mexico aims to make progress toward a binding agreement. If the islanders abandon their homes as planned, the exodus will be one of the first blamed on rising sea levels and global warming. ...


A tslow tsunami of tscary tshit!

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Mon, Jul 5, 2010
from Science, via McClatchy:
World ocean: 'overwhelming evidence' that it's 'a lot worse than the public thinks.'
A sobering new report warns that the oceans face a "fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation" not seen in millions of years as greenhouse gases and climate change already have affected temperature, acidity, sea and oxygen levels, the food chain and possibly major currents that could alter global weather.... "We are becoming increasingly certain that the world's marine ecosystems are reaching tipping points," Bruno said, adding, "We really have no power or model to foresee" the impact. "It's a lot worse than the public thinks," said Nate Mantua, an associate research professor at the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group. Mantua, who's read the report, said it was clear what was causing the oceans' problems: greenhouse gases. "It is not a mystery," he said. ...


Alright! If it's not a mystery, then we can do something about it!
Right?
Right?


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Tue, Jun 29, 2010
from Independent (Ireland):
Our warmer waters attract new species
Ireland's coastal waters are getting warmer and waves are getting higher because of climate change. Swarms of jellyfish are now being enticed to the warmer water, a new climate change report published today reveals. The report, 'Irish Ocean Climate and Ecosystem Status Report 2009', details a number of significant changes recorded in recent years including increases in sea surface temperature. Higher temperatures have led to an increase in the number of warm water species in Irish waters, ranging from microscopic plankton to swarms of jellyfish. A key finding of the report, published by the Marine Institute, is that increases of sea surface temperature of 0.6C per decade have been taking place since 1994 -- a change unprecedented in the past 150 years. This, in turn, is linked to an increase in microscopic plants and animals, along with species of jellyfish. Further up the food chain, greater numbers of warm-water fish species have been observed in Irish waters, along with sightings of exotic species such as snake pipefish. Declines in the number of seabirds have also been observed, which may be linked to climate change, says the report. ...


But still, no snakes!

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Fri, Jun 25, 2010
from NASA:
Global Temperature Anomalies for May 2010 released
In May 2010, temperature records assembled by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) showed wide expanses of slightly above- and slightly below-normal temperatures over most of the globe, but also dramatic warmth near the North Pole.... Especially warm temperatures--close to five degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) above average--occur over most of the Arctic, including the northernmost reaches of North America, northwestern Greenland, and most of the northern coast of Eurasia. Unusually warm conditions also extend southward into Eastern Europe and Siberia.... "Ongoing temperature anomalies like these are strong evidence of the Arctic amplification of global climate change," says Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The Arctic environment is very vulnerable to warming because of feedbacks that amplify the initial change. Sea ice retreat and snow melt reduce Earth's albedo, which can lead to increased warmth and further melting. Scambos explains that, although the Northern Hemisphere experienced significant snowfall in early 2010, spring melt was rapid, exposing land surfaces to sunlight sooner than usual. ...


"De Nial" is a river in the Arctic.

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Sun, May 23, 2010
from Wall Street Journal:
Scientists Reassert Man's Role in a Changing Climate
The National Academy of Sciences, a group of elite American researchers that advises the U.S. government, on Wednesday issued an 869-page report reasserting mankind's role in altering the climate and calling for specific policy measures to help forestall undesirable effects. The report, requested by Congress 2008, essentially supports the main findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body whose most recent report released in 2007 was criticized for containing several errors.... "Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks," the academy report concludes.... Nonetheless, the academy acknowledged that there is significant uncertainty when attempting longer-term predictions about climate change. For example, the 2007 IPCC report said sea levels could rise by between 0.6 and 1.9 feet by 2100, but later studies suggested that forecast was too conservative. The academy's report incorporates the newer research and concludes that sea levels could rise by as much as 6.5 feet in that period. ...


See? Those darned scientists constantly underestimate. We can't believe a thing they say!

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Wed, May 19, 2010
from CBC:
Greenland's coastal areas rising
Greenland's ice is melting at such a rapid pace that the land beneath it is rising up, say U.S. researchers. The dense, two-kilometre thick icecap that covers Greenland suppresses the land, keeping its elevation in check, researchers at the University of Miami write in a new study. However, it is melting so quickly that the island's coastal areas are rising at a rate of one inch per year. The scientists predict that by 2025, that rate could be two inches a year. "What's surprising, and a bit worrisome, is that the ice is melting so fast that we can actually see the land uplift in response," said the study's principal investigator, Tim Dixon, professor of geophysics at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), in a news release. "Even more surprising, the rise seems to be accelerating, implying that melting is accelerating." ...


We knew this would happen. The earth is literally rising up.

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Fri, May 7, 2010
from Inter Press Service:
Small Islands Urge Action at UN Oceans Meet
Faced with rising sea levels, dying coral reefs and decreasing fish stocks, small island developing states (SIDS) are feeling the effects of ocean decline, and they want wealthier countries to do more to ensure the survival of the world's seas and other waterways. "We are seeing the threat that fisheries will collapse, the threat of tourism-collapse and the loss of biodiversity," said Rolph Payet, special advisor to the President of the Seychelles. "Some people think that this is just a simple matter to be brushed aside, and to continue with business as usual, emitting greenhouse gases (GhGs) as usual,'' Payet said. "The data shows us that we should be worried, and we should be acting. In fact we should have acted yesterday," he said. ...


An unfortunate acronym.

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Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from Geophysical Research Letters, via ScienceDaily:
Melting Icebergs in Polar Oceans Causing Sea Level Rise Globally, New Assessment Finds
Scientists have discovered that changes in the amount of ice floating in the polar oceans are causing sea levels to rise -- by a mere hair's breadth today, but possibly much more if melting trends continue.... According to Archimedes' principle, any floating object displaces its own weight of fluid. For example, an ice cube in a glass of water does not cause the glass to overflow as it melts. But because sea water is warmer and more salty than floating ice, changes in the amount of this ice are having an effect on global sea levels. The loss of floating ice is equivalent to 1.5 million Titanic-sized icebergs each year. However, the study shows that spread across the global oceans, recent losses of floating ice amount to a sea level rise of just 49 micrometers per year -- about a hair's breadth. ...


That Titanic analogy is too big to sink.

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Wed, Apr 21, 2010
from Scientific American (per DesdemonaDespair):
Antarctica ice sheets: 'Our models may be dramatically underestimating' danger
Withered by summer heat, Arctic sea ice has shrunk to record low coverage several times since 2005, only to rebound to within 95 percent of its long-term average extent this winter. By comparison, Antarctica, with some 90 percent of the world's glacial reserves, has generally shed ice in more stately fashion. However, emerging evidence from an Antarctic geological research drilling program known as ANDRILL suggests that the southernmost continent has had a much more dynamic history than previously suspected--one that could signal an abrupt shrinkage of its ice sheets at some unknown greenhouse gas threshold, possibly starting in this century. Especially troubling, scientists see evidence in the geological data that could mean the vast East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which holds at least four-fifths of the continent's ice, is less resistant to melting than previously thought.... According to the simulation, the East ice sheet melts only when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are at least eight times higher than preindustrial levels. The ice sheet's so-called hysteresis, or resistance to change, is now in doubt. Modeler and geologist Robert DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, says the policy implications are grim. "Our models may be dramatically underestimating how much worse it's going to get," he says, noting that many population centers worldwide are within a few meters of sea level. Looking at signs of meltwater in the early Miocene, DeConto says, "we're seeing ice retreat faster and more dramatically than any model predicts." ...


Hysteresical.

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Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg.com:
Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal disappears into sea
For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island's gone. New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra. Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal. Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) annually, he said. ...


Who would have expected nature to help us resolve our political differences?

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Mon, Feb 15, 2010
from New Scientist:
Greenland's glaciers disappearing from the bottom up
Water warmed by climate change is taking giant bites out of the underbellies of Greenland's glaciers. As much as 75 per cent of the ice lost by the glaciers is melted by ocean warmth. "There's an entrenched view in the public community that glaciers only lose ice when icebergs calve off," says Eric Rignot at the University of California, Irvine. "Our study shows that what's happening beneath the water is just as important."... The underwater faces of the different glaciers retreated by between 0.7 and 3.9 metres each day, representing 20 times more ice than melts off the top of the glacier. This creates ice overhangs that crumble into the sea, says Paul Holland at the British Antarctic Society. ...


I didn't realize that glaciers could reveal a dark underbelly.

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Fri, Feb 12, 2010
from CBC:
Cave research suggests fast-forming and -melting glaciers
Scientists studying the history of sea levels in Spain say they've found evidence that glaciers can form and melt faster than previously thought. The research done in caves on the Spanish island of Majorca suggests that the sea level 81,000 years ago was more than a metre higher than it is today.... This finding that the sea level was higher 81,000 years ago than it is now suggests global temperatures were at least as high as they are now, if not higher, even though the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was lower then. The results, published this week in the journal Science, are at odds with conventional thinking on how fast ice sheets can form and recede. If the results are verified, they could change the way geologists think about the way ice ages come and go. ...


Thank goodness the results are unverified.

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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Fort Myers News-Press:
Much of Collier, Lee counties put at risk by rising sea
For the first time, three big government agencies in South Florida are issuing a red alert on global warming. They all acknowledge that global warming is happening and may be accelerating, that the climate is changing and the sea is rising because of it. Now they want to do something about it, with each issuing new climate change directives in the last six months.... This means that any remaining debate, complacency or indecision government agencies once had about the threat of global warming has given way to urgency. ...


Now I think I prefer blissful ignorance.

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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
from China Daily:
China sea levels reach record high
The sea level in China late last year hit a record high for the past three decades, threatening the safety of thousands of people in the coastal areas, the national ocean agency said yesterday. The average rise in sea level for the past three decades occurred at a rate of 2.6 mm a year, much higher than the average rate of 1.7 mm annually across the world, a report on the sea-level rise in China for 2009 released by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) showed. "Last year, the sea level was 8 mm higher than 2008 with the rise in sea level in Hainan Province reaching 113 mm, the highest across the country," Lin Shanqing, director of forecast and disaster relief department of the SOA, said yesterday. ...


We call this a tsea-nami.

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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from Johann Hari, in Slate:
NASA's Prophet Will Give You Nightmares
Ice sheets can go fast, and when they do, sea levels rise remorselessly and do not settle for centuries. He reasons: "If ice sheets begin to disintegrate, there will not be a new stable sea level on any foreseeable time scale. We will have created a situation with continual change, with intermittent calamities at thousands of cities around the world. It will continue for as many generations as we care to think about.... Global chaos will be difficult to avoid." So it is sobering to hear Hansen say -- based on large numbers of scientific studies -- that "a disintegration of the ice sheets has begun." Now we need to concentrate on forestalling a tipping point at which they would begin to internally collapse. Once that has happened, we will be powerless to stop a disaster. It will be too late to cut our emissions: They would still fall. ...


Evidence? I don't see evidence.

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Thu, Jan 21, 2010
from Desdemona Despair:
Most of UAE to be underwater with sea level rise
Focusing on UAE only, three of the most threatening outcomes of climate change have been studied in the report -- rise in sea level, water resources and dry land ecosystems. The results say that 85 per cent of UAE's population living on the coast and more than 90 per cent of the infrastructure also lying along the seashores, the country's economy and general well-being is at risk even from a one-metre rise in sea level. Two plausible sea level rise scenarios for the years 2050 and 2100 were studied in the report. In the first case (year 2050), the sea levels may rise between one and three metres, depending on the speed of polar ice melting, while in the second, the predictions are between two and nine metres. ...


I dunno... tragic, or poetic?

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Tue, Jan 19, 2010
from New York Times:
Therapists Report Increase in Green Disputes
As awareness of environmental concerns has grown, therapists say they are seeing a rise in bickering between couples and family members over the extent to which they should change their lives to save the planet. In households across the country, green lines are being drawn between those who insist on wild salmon and those who buy farmed, those who calculate their carbon footprint and those who remain indifferent to greenhouse gases. "As the focus on climate increases in the public’s mind, it can't help but be a part of people’s planning about the future," said Thomas Joseph Doherty, a clinical psychologist in Portland, Ore., who has a practice that focuses on environmental issues. "It touches every part of how they live: what they eat, whether they want to fly, what kind of vacation they want." ...


You say eco... I say echo...

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Tue, Jan 19, 2010
from via ScienceDaily:
Tipping Point? West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Become Unstable as World Warms
A new study examines how ice sheets, such as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, could become unstable as the world warms. The team from Oxford University and Cambridge University developed a model to explore how changes in the 'grounding line' -- where an ice sheet floats free from its base of rock or sediment -- could lead to the disintegration of ice sheets and result in a significant rise in global sea level... At the moment the model -- that uniquely takes into account the three dimensional shape of ice sheets -- is still fairly simple, but the researchers hope to eventually include more detail on how ice sheets interact with their base slopes and show the behaviour of individual ice streams. ...


Once the ice sheets go, at least we'll have this fun model to play with!

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Wed, Jan 13, 2010
from New Scientist:
Major Antarctic glacier is 'past its tipping point'
A major Antarctic glacier has passed its tipping point, according to a new modelling study. After losing increasing amounts of ice over the past decades, it is poised to collapse in a catastrophe that could raise global sea levels by 24 centimetres. Pine Island glacier (PIG) is one of many at the fringes of the West Antarctic ice sheet. In 2004, satellite observations showed that it had started to thin, and that ice was flowing into the Amundsen Sea 25 per cent faster than it had 30 years before. Now, the first study to model changes in the ice sheet in three dimensions shows that PIG has probably passed a critical "tipping point" and is irreversibly on track to lose 50 per cent of its ice in as little as 100 years, significantly raising global sea levels. ...


Sheesh, I'll be long dead by then.

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Wed, Jan 13, 2010
from NASA:
Antarctica Losing 24 cubic miles per year, and growing
Gravity data collected from space using NASA's Grace satellite show that Antarctica has been losing more than a hundred cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002. The latest data reveal that Antarctica is losing ice at an accelerating rate, too. How is it possible for surface melting to decrease, but for the continent to lose mass anyway? The answer boils down to the fact that ice can flow without melting.... Isabella Velicogna of JPL and the University of California, Irvine, uses Grace data to weigh the Antarctic ice sheet from space. Her work shows that the ice sheet is not only losing mass, but it is losing mass at an accelerating rate. "The important message is that it is not a linear trend. A linear trend means you have the same mass loss every year. The fact that it's above linear, this is the important idea, that ice loss is increasing with time," she says. And she points out that it isn't just the Grace data that show accelerating loss; the radar data do, too. "It isn't just one type of measurement. It's a series of independent measurements that are giving the same results, which makes it more robust." ...


I thought Antarctica was the opposite of Arctica.

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Sat, Jan 9, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Maldives: Paradise threatened?
...A string of coral islands lying 3 degrees above the equator in the Indian Ocean and 477 miles west of Sri Lanka, the Maldives has 1,190 islands. Only 200 of the islands are inhabited, home to about 390,000 Maldivians. But here's the doomsday foreshadowing: The largest of these 1,190 islands is 2 miles long, and most are smaller than a football field. The highest point in all the islands is less than 8 feet. A basketball hoop is 2 feet taller than the whole country... U.N. pundits say that oceans could rise as much as 2 feet in the next 90 years. Imagine what that might do to an island the size of a football field. ...


Maldives... may be taking a dive.

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Sat, Dec 12, 2009
from Alaska Journal of Commerce:
Climate change eroding coast at accelerating rate, scientists find
Coastal erosion isn't the only climate-related problem confronting rural communities. Health officials now are concerned about food and water safety in northern villages as warming temperatures thaw ice cellars and melting permafrost increases the organic content in rivers, creating problems in village water treatment plants. Increased erosion is presenting problems within the petroleum reserve. Erosion has the potential to expose old oil and gas drill sites and reserve pits, where contaminants are stored. ...


The Great Thaw is going to unearth a whole lotta old shit.

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Thu, Dec 10, 2009
from UPenn, via EurekAlert:
Sea level is rising along US Atlantic coast, say Penn environmental scientists
An international team of environmental scientists led by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that sea-level rise along the Atlantic Coast of the United States was 2 millimeters faster in the 20th century than at any time in the past 4,000 years.... Researchers corrected relative sea-level data from tide gauges using the coastal-subsidence values. Results clearly show that the 20th-century rate of sea-level rise is 2 millimeters higher than the background rate of the past 4,000 years. Furthermore, the magnitude of the sea-level rise increases in a southerly direction from Maine to South Carolina. This is the first demonstrated evidence of this phenomenon from observational data alone. Researchers believe this may be related to the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and ocean thermal expansion. ...


This is just "anecdotal" data... y'know, just stories that the earth is telling.

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Mon, Dec 7, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Thai village disappearing as sea levels rise 20m a year
AROUND 60 families have already been forced away from the once idyllic fishing community of Khun Samutchine, as the sea that local people rely on for their livelihood advances inland by more than 20m a year. "I live on somebody else's land, I can't escape the village because I'm too poor," Noo Wisuksin, 71, said as she pointed to the spot in the water where her home used to be decades ago. She is one of 25 million people under threat in Thailand's vast Chao Phraya river delta, which is sinking because of river damming and the clearing of mangrove forests, as climate change pushes up sea levels. ...


Farewell, cute little Thai village...

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Tue, Dec 1, 2009
from Terra Daily:
Antarctic melt may push sea levels to 1.4 metres: study
Quickening ice loss in West Antarctica will likely contribute heavily to a projected sea level rise of up to 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) by 2100, according to a major scientific report released Tuesday. Scientists long held that most of Antarctica's continent-sized ice sheet was highly resistant to global warming, and that the more vulnerable West Antarctic ice block would remain intact for thousands of years to come. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- whose 2007 report is the scientific benchmark for the UN December 7-18 Copenhagen climate summit -- did not even factor melting ice sheets into its forecasts for rising seas. But studies since then show huge loss of ice mass, mainly as a result of warmer ocean temperatures, according to the review by more than 100 experts on the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. ...


Quick! Only really tall people get to breed.

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Thu, Nov 26, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Climate change to cost trillions, say economists
Estimates vary widely on the costs of damage from climate change, easing these impacts and taming the carbon gas stoking the problem, but economists agree the bill is likely to be in the trillions of dollars. Figures depend on different forecasts for greenhouse-gas emissions and the timeline for reaching them. In addition, key variables remain sketchy. How will rainfall, snowfall, storm frequency and ocean levels look a few decades from now? How will they affect a specific country or region? And how fast will nations introduce low-carbon technologies, carbon taxes and other policies that alter energy use? Despite these uncertainties, economists share a broad consensus: climate change will ultimately cost thousands of billions of dollars, a tab that keeps rising as more carbon enters the atmosphere. ...


And what's the APR (compounded) on that?

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Mon, Nov 23, 2009
from Washington Post:
The ultimate crop rotation
In recent months, the Ethiopian government began marketing abroad one of the hottest commodities in an increasingly crowded and hungry world: farmland...This impoverished and chronically food-insecure Horn of Africa nation is rapidly becoming one of the world's leading destinations for the booming business of land leasing, by which relatively rich countries and investment firms are securing 40-to-99-year contracts to farm vast tracts of land.... The harshest critics of the practice conjure images of poor Africans starving as food is hauled off to rich countries. ...


And what's so new about that?

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Sun, Nov 22, 2009
from Guardian (UK):
World's largest ice sheet melting faster than expected
The world's largest ice sheet has started to melt along its coastal fringes, raising fears that global sea levels will rise faster than scientists expected. The East Antarctic ice sheet, which makes up three-quarters of the continent's 14,000 sq km, is losing around 57bn tonnes of ice a year into surrounding waters, according to a satellite survey of the region. Scientists had thought the ice sheet was reasonably stable, but measurements taken from Nasa's gravity recovery and climate experiment (Grace) show that it started to lose ice steadily from 2006. The measurements suggest the polar continent could soon contribute more to global sea level rises than Greenland, which is shedding more than 250bn tonnes of ice a year, adding 0.7mm to annual sea level rises. ...


Now Greenland, don't start getting competitive, ok?

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Sat, Nov 14, 2009
from Times Online (UK):
Greenland's ice sheet is melting faster than ever, data shows
Greenland's ice sheet is melting at an accelerating pace, according to the most detailed observations to date. Until now scientists had been unable to establish whether the loss of the ice sheet had speeded up significantly since the 1990s. Using two independent measurement techniques, the latest study reveals that the melting accelerated rapidly over the period 2000-2008. If the acceleration of melting continues at the same rate, the sea level from Greenland's ice alone would rise by 40cm by the end of the century. If the melting continues at a steady pace -- the best-case scenario according to Met Office predictions -- Greenland ice will contribute an 18cm rise in sea level. The Greenland ice sheet contains enough water to cause a global sea level rise of seven metres. ...


And the rate of acceleration? Is it accelerating?

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Mon, Nov 9, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Copenhagen failure would be 'suicide': Maldives
The president of the Maldives has warned that a failure to agree a deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions in Copenhagen next month would be an act of "collective suicide". "At the moment every country arrives at climate negotiations seeking to keep their own emissions as high as possible," President Mohamed Nasheed said here. "This is the logic of the madhouse, a recipe for collective suicide. "We don't want a global suicide pact. We want a global survival pact."... Nasheed opened a two-day forum for 11 countries considered the most vulnerable to climate change, urging them to go carbon neutral to show the rich world the way forward. ...


One world leader seems to be flying over this crazy cuckoo's nest.

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Mon, Nov 9, 2009
from McClatchy Newspapers:
As oceans fall ill, Washington bureaucrats squabble
...Every summer a dead zone of oxygen-depleted water the size of Massachusetts forms in the Gulf of Mexico; others have been found off Oregon and in the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Erie and the Baltic and Black seas. Some studies indicate that North Pole seawater could turn caustic in 10 years, and that the Southern Ocean already may be saturated with carbon dioxide....As the grim news mounts, a storm is brewing in Washington, D.C., over who should oversee oceans policies...However, NOAA, the nation's primary ocean agency, which includes the National Ocean Service, the nation's premier science agency for oceans and coasts... is missing from the task force's list...."NOAA is the nation's primary ocean agency," NOAA administrator Lubchenco told the subcommittee. "Our name says it all." ...


In more ways than one.

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Thu, Oct 29, 2009
from University of Pennsylvania via ScienceDaily:
North Carolina Sea Levels Rising Three Times Faster Than In Previous 500 Years
An international team of environmental scientists led by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that sea-level rise, at least in North Carolina, is accelerating. Researchers found 20th-century sea-level rise to be three times higher than the rate of sea-level rise during the last 500 years. In addition, this jump appears to occur between 1879 and 1915, a time of industrial change that may provide a direct link to human-induced climate change....the acceleration appears consistent with other studies from the Atlantic coast, though the magnitude of the acceleration in North Carolina is larger than at sites farther north along the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic coast and may be indicative of a latitudinal trend related to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. ...


The shore sure is shortening.

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Tue, Oct 27, 2009
from Washington Post:
Ailing planet seen as bad for human health
Climate change will make Americans more vulnerable to diseases, disasters and heat waves, but governments have done little to plan for the added burden on the health system, according to a new study by a nonprofit group. The study, released Monday by the Trust for America's Health, an advocacy group focused on disease prevention, examines the public-health implications of climate change. In addition to pushing up sea levels and shrinking Arctic ice, the report says, a warming planet is likely to leave more people sick, short of breath or underfed. ...


Yet another fine report from the Duh! Institute.

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Mon, Oct 5, 2009
from Reuters:
Unstoppable sea level rise
A rise of at least two metres in the world's sea levels is now almost unstoppable, experts told a climate conference at Oxford University on Tuesday. "The crux of the sea level issue is that it starts very slowly but once it gets going it is practically unstoppable," said Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at Germany's Potsdam Institute and a widely recognised sea level expert. "There is no way I can see to stop this rise, even if we have gone to zero emissions..." Rahmstorf estimated that if the world limited warming to 1.5 degrees then it would still see two metres sea level rise over centuries, which would see some island nations disappear. His best guess was a one metre rise this century, assuming three degrees warming, and up to five metres over the next 300 years. ...


Think of all the great goodbye parties for islands!

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Thu, Sep 24, 2009
from London Independent:
Ancient glaciers are disappearing faster than ever
Melting ice is pouring off Greenland and Antarctica into the sea far faster than was previously realised because of global warming, new scientific research reveals today. The accelerating loss from the world's two great land-based ice sheets means a rise in sea levels is likely to happen even more quickly than UN scientists suggested only two years ago, the findings by British scientists suggest. Although floating ice, such as that in the Arctic Ocean, does not add to sea-level rise when it melts as it is already displacing its own mass in the water, melting ice from the land raises the global sea level directly. At present it is thought that land-based ice melt accounts for about 1.8mm of the current annual sea level rise of 3.2mm – the rest is coming from the fact that water expands in volume as it warms. But the new findings, published online today in the journal Nature, imply that this rate is likely to increase. ...


Maybe it's melting faster 'cause we're watching it!

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Wed, Sep 23, 2009
from CBC News (Canada):
Polar ice sheets melting into sea: study
The massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica are thinning rapidly, say British researchers who have analyzed 50 million laser measurements from a NASA satellite. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Bristol said the most dramatic loss of ice was the result of glaciers flowing into the sea at a faster rate. "We think that warm ocean currents reaching the coast and melting the glacier front is the most likely cause of faster glacier flow," Hamish Pritchard of the British Antarctic Survey said in a statement.... "We were surprised to see such a strong pattern of thinning glaciers across such large areas of coastline," said Pritchard. "It's widespread and in some cases thinning extends hundreds of kilometres inland." ...


Of course it's thinning: isn't that what saunas are supposed to do?

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Mon, Sep 21, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
That sinking feeling: world's deltas subsiding, says study
Two-thirds of the world's major deltas, home to nearly half a billion people, are caught in the scissors of sinking land and rising seas, according to a study published Sunday. The new findings, based on satellite images, show that 85 percent of the 33 largest delta regions experienced severe flooding over the past decade, affecting 260,000 square kilometres (100,000 square miles). Delta land vulnerable to serious flooding could expand by 50 percent this century if ocean levels increase as expected under moderate climate change scenarios, the study projects. Worst hit will be Asia, but heavily populated and farmed deltas on every continent except Australia and Antarctica are in peril, it says. On a five-tier scale, three of the eleven deltas in the highest-risk category are in China: the Yellow River delta in the north, the Yangtze River delta near Shanghai, and the Pearl River Delta next to Guangzhou. ...


The delta, it melt-a away-a.

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Wed, Sep 16, 2009
from National Geographic News:
Sea Levels Rose Two Feet This Summer in U.S. East
The immediate cause of the unexpected rise has now been solved, U.S. officials say in a new report (hint: it wasn't global warming). But the underlying reason remains a mystery.... NOAA's phones began ringing this summer when East Coast residents reported higher than predicted water levels, much like those associated with short-term weather events like tropical storms. But these high seas persisted for weeks, throughout June and July. The startling rise caused only minor coastal flooding -- but major head scratching among scientists.... But this summer, for reasons unknown, "the Gulf Stream slowed down," Edwing said, sending water toward the coasts -- and sea levels shooting upward. Adding to the sustained surge, autumn winds from the northeastern Atlantic arrived a few months early, pushing even more water coastward. ...


It's not global warming, hooray! Instead, it's the Gulf stream slowing mysteriously!

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Mon, Sep 14, 2009
from SciDev.net:
Bangladesh to host centre for climate adaptation knowhow
Bangladesh is set to host a new international centre for research and training in climate change adaptation activities. The International Centre for Climate Change and Development's official launch is planned for late November, at the end of its first course, Terry Cannon, the centre's visiting director of studies, told SciDev.Net.... "The idea is to bring together people from around the world who are working on community-based adaptation with vulnerable groups," explains Huq. Huq says that although several universities in industrialised countries around the world are developing climate change courses, the new centre can provide something more -- particularly for students from less developed countries, who will be able to experience first-hand the realities of climate change in Bangladesh and link them to the situation in their home countries. "Bangladesh is a living laboratory on climate change adaptation," he says. "We will take students out to see what is happening. It will be more than just a classroom exercise." ...


Hands-on learning with humankind's biggest uncontrolled experiment!

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Wed, Sep 2, 2009
from Environmental Research Web:
Climate-adaptation costs are three times higher than estimated
The costs of adapting to climate change could be at least two to three times higher than predicted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The underestimate has implications for the international climate negotiations coming up in Copenhagen in December... "The reason [for the underestimate] is they didn't include a number of very important sectors that are likely to be impacted by climate change -- industry, energy mining, retailing -- about a half of the world's economy," Martin Parry of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.... For example, the UNFCCC estimate of $11 billion for the water sector did not include the cost of adapting to floods and assumes no costs for transferring water within nations from areas of surplus to areas of deficit. And the figure of $8–130 billion for infrastructure adaptation assumed a low level of investment in infrastructure in Africa and other relatively poor areas. If this is not the case, adapting the upgraded infrastructure to climate change could be eight times more costly. ...


Oops! We forgot about all those co(a)sts!

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Fri, Aug 21, 2009
from Guardian (UK):
Nile Delta: 'We are going underwater. The sea will conquer our lands'
Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared Egypt's Nile Delta to be among the top three areas on the planet most vulnerable to a rise in sea levels, and even the most optimistic predictions of global temperature increase will still displace millions of Egyptians from one of the most densely populated regions on earth. The Delta spills out from the northern stretches of the capital into 10,000 square miles of farmland fed by the Nile's branches. It is home to two-thirds of the country's rapidly growing population, and responsible for more than 60 percent of its food supply: Egypt relies unconditionally on it for survival. But with its 270km of coastline lying at a dangerously low elevation (large parts are between zero and 1m above sea level, with some areas lying below it), any melting of the polar ice caps could see its farmland and cities -- including the historical port of Alexandria -- transformed into an ocean floor. A 1m rise in the sea level, which many experts think likely within the next 100 years, will cause 20 percent of the Delta to go underwater. ...


Denial is a river delta in Egypt, baby!

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Sun, Aug 2, 2009
from Edinburgh Scotsman:
Scientists claim planet is heading for 'irreversible' climate change by 2040
Carbon dioxide levels are rising at a faster rate than the worst-case scenario envisaged by United Nations experts, with the planet heading for "catastrophic" and "irreversible" climate change by 2040, a new report claims. The rise of greenhouse gases will trigger an unprecedented rate of global warming that will result in the loss of the ice-covered polar seas by 2020, much of our coral reefs by 2040 and see a 1.4-metre rise in the sea level by 2100. The apocalyptic vision has been outlined in a paper by Andrew Brierley of St Andrews University, which is likely to influence the views of UN experts gathering in Copenhagen this December to establish a new protocol that will attempt to halt global warming. ...


"Apocalyptic"? Where are the plagues of locusts?

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Fri, Jul 10, 2009
from Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, via EurekAlert:
Between the devil and the deep blue sea
Many Megacities such as Tokyo (pop. 36.000.000), New York (22.000.000) and London (12.000.000) are found in the coastal zone. Coastal protection measures give a sense of false security and require increasingly expensive infrastructure. The treatment and cure of these coastal syndromes includes renewable energy, recycled water and solid waste, sourcing locally grown foods and attention to social equity issues, especially in education and healthcare.... Up to now, governments at all scales, from local to international, have largely failed to seriously implement integrated management in coastal zones.... These are the conclusions of 40 international experts from wide ranging disciplines including economics, social sciences and natural sciences who met for an intensive, 5 day workshop near Oslo, Norway. ...


Governments have failed to respond to long-term issues? When did this start?

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Mon, Jul 6, 2009
from 3news (New Zealand):
Antarctica melting faster than expected
Antarctica is melting faster than expected, a conference was told earlier this week. Professor Peter Barrett of Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre told the Annual Antarctic Conference in Auckland that the rate of ice loss was up 75 percent since 1996, and was increasing quickly.... Research centre director Professor Tim Naish, led a team of researchers who drilled deep into the Antarctic rock and discovered ancient records from the last time atmospheric CO2 reached the level it was now approaching. They found that 3 million to 5 million years ago, seas were warm enough to melt a large chunk of Antarctica's ice when atmospheric CO2 was only slightly higher than today. ...


Surely Antarctica would be the antithesis of what the Arctic is doing, right?

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Mon, Jun 29, 2009
from Miami Herald (FL):
Keys ill-prepared for rising sea
"South Florida is on the front line against sea-level rise in the United States, and the Florida Keys are ground zero," said Evan Flugman, who co-authored a Florida International University report on the importance of Monroe County tackling the issue now. By 2100, under the best-case predictions of a seven-inch sea-level rise by an international climate panel, the Keys would lose about 59,000 acres of real estate worth $11 billion, according to the nonprofit Nature Conservancy. Under the panel's worst-case projection of ocean waters rising 23.2 inches, about 75 percent of the Keys 154,000 acres and nearly 50 percent of its $43 billion property value could become submerged. Consequences also include the loss of habitat for many endangered plants and species, including Key deer. And the panel's predictions are conservative in comparison to some scientists' calculations. The eye-opening projections were presented at a June meeting in Marathon to urge Monroe County Mayor George Neugent, other Keys leaders and residents to develop long-term plans to deal with climate change. Unlike Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the Keys do not have a climate change task force. ...


What about DisneyWorld??

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Mon, Jun 22, 2009
from University of Buffalo, via EurekAlert:
Ice sheets can retreat 'in a geologic instant,' study of prehistoric glacier shows
Modern glaciers, such as those making up the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, are capable of undergoing periods of rapid shrinkage or retreat, according to new findings by paleoclimatologists at the University at Buffalo. The paper, published on June 21 in Nature Geoscience, describes fieldwork demonstrating that a prehistoric glacier in the Canadian Arctic rapidly retreated in just a few hundred years. The proof of such rapid retreat of ice sheets provides one of the few explicit confirmations that this phenomenon occurs. Should the same conditions recur today, which the UB scientists say is very possible, they would result in sharply rising global sea levels, which would threaten coastal populations. "A lot of glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland are characteristic of the one we studied in the Canadian Arctic," said Jason Briner, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences and lead author on the paper. "Based on our findings, they, too, could retreat in a geologic instant." ...


And that studied glacier didn't even have coal plant spewage to deal with!

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Sat, Jun 20, 2009
from Desdemona Despair:
Rising ocean temperatures near worst-case predictions
The ocean is warming about 50 per cent faster than reported two years ago, according to an update of the latest climate science. A report compiling research presented at a science congress in Copenhagen in March says recent observations are near the worst-case predictions of the 2007 report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In the case of sea-level rise, it is happening at an even greater rate than projected -- largely due to rising ocean temperatures causing thermal expansion of seawater.... The report, titled Climate change: Global risks, challenges & decisions, says greenhouse gas emissions needed to peak within the next six years for the world to [have] a chance of limiting global warming above pre-industrial levels to about two degrees. ...


Six years? That's more than half a decade away. What's the worry?

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Tue, Jun 16, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Coastal castles could be moved inland
As sea levels threaten a number of historic properties, the government is considering ways to protect them. Historic monuments that are threatened with destruction could be moved in exceptional circumstances to a "more sustainable location", according to a consultation paper released by the Department for the Environment. Coastal defences should be improved in less severe cases and valuable assets recorded in case they are lost forever, it says.... This week the Met Office will warn of the threat of rising sea levels to Britain over the next 80 years. It is expected to warn that sea levels could rise by as much as 80cm (31 inches) around the British coast by 2100, causing the flooding of low lying areas such as Norfolk. Storm surge events around the coast could occur 20 times more frequently for some coastal areas making erosion damage worse. ...


Castles just might not be the highest priority in that situation.

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Fri, Jun 12, 2009
from University of Alaska Fairbanks via ScienceDaily:
Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Faster Than Expected; Larger Contributor To Sea-level Rise Than Thought
The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than expected, according to a new study led by a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher and published in the journal Hydrological Processes. Study results indicate that the ice sheet may be responsible for nearly 25 percent of global sea rise in the past 13 years. The study also shows that seas now are rising by more than 3 millimeters a year--more than 50 percent faster than the average for the 20th century.... Ice melt from a warming Arctic has two major effects on the ocean. First, increased water contributes to global sea-level rise, which in turn affects coastlines across the globe. Second, fresh water from melting ice changes the salinity of the world’s oceans, which can affect ocean ecosystems and deep water mixing. ...


It's scuba time!

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Thu, May 28, 2009
from Reuters:
Greenland ice could fuel severe U.S. sea level rise
New York, Boston and other cities on North America's northeast coast could face a rise in sea level this century that would exceed forecasts for the rest of the planet if Greenland's ice sheet keeps melting as fast as it is now, researchers said on Wednesday. Sea levels off the northeast coast of North America could rise by 12 to 20 inches more than other coastal areas if the Greenland glacier-melt continues to accelerate at its present pace, the researchers reported. This is because the current rate of ice-melting in Greenland could send so much fresh water into the salty north Atlantic Ocean that it could change the vast ocean circulation pattern sometimes called the conveyor belt. Scientists call this pattern the meridional overturning circulation. ...


Whateva ya call it, I'm bringing my snorkel!

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Thu, May 28, 2009
from NSF, via EurekAlert:
Sea-level rise may pose greatest threat to Northeast US, Canada
The melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet this century may drive more water than previously thought toward the already threatened coastlines of New York, Boston, Halifax and other cities in the northeastern United States and Canada, according to new research.... They considered three scenarios: the melt rate continuing to increase by 7 percent a year, as has been the case in recent years, or the melt rate slowing down to an increase of either 1 or 3 percent a year. If Greenland's melt rate slows down to a 3 percent annual increase, the study team's computer simulations indicate that the runoff from its ice sheet could alter ocean circulation in a way that would direct about a foot of water toward the northeast coast of North America by 2100. This would be on top of the average global sea level rise expected as a result of global warming. Although the study team did not try to estimate that mean global sea level rise, their simulations indicated that melt from Greenland alone under the 3 percent scenario could raise sea levels by an average of 53 centimeters (21 inches). If the annual increase in the melt rate dropped to 1 percent, the runoff would not raise northeastern sea levels by more than the 8 inches found in the earlier study in Nature Geoscience. But if the melt rate continued at its present 7 percent increase per year through 2050 and then leveled off, the study suggests that the northeast coast could see as much as 51 centimeters (20 inches) of sea level rise above a global average that could be several feet. ...


Red Sox: soggy. Mets: sodden.

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Mon, May 18, 2009
from New York Times:
As Alaska Glaciers Melt, It's Land That's Rising
As the glaciers here melt, the land is rising, causing the sea to retreat.... The geology is complex, but it boils down to this: Relieved of billions of tons of glacial weight, the land has risen much as a cushion regains its shape after someone gets up from a couch. The land is ascending so fast that the rising seas -- a ubiquitous byproduct of global warming -- cannot keep pace. As a result, the relative sea level is falling, at a rate "among the highest ever recorded," according to a 2007 report by a panel of experts convened by Mayor Bruce Botelho of Juneau.... As a result, the region faces unusual environmental challenges. As the sea level falls relative to the land, water tables fall, too, and streams and wetlands dry out. Land is emerging from the water to replace the lost wetlands, shifting property boundaries and causing people to argue about who owns the acreage and how it should be used. And meltwater carries the sediment scoured long ago by the glaciers to the coast, where it clouds the water and silts up once-navigable channels. ...


Is this an example of the earth rising up to defend itself?

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Thu, Apr 30, 2009
from London Daily Telegraph:
Global warming blamed for unstable ice shelf in Antarctica
The images from the European Space Agency (ESA) revealed that an estimated 700 square kilometres of the Wilkins Ice Shelf have been lost, with satellite data last week showing the first icebergs had started to calve off its northern front. The indications that the ice shelf has become unstable follow the collapse three weeks ago of the ice bridge between the Antarctic mainland and Charcot Island, with the loss of around 330 square kilometres of ice. The collapse of the bridge, which had held back the northern front of the shelf, resulted in existing rifts in the shelf's ice widening and new cracks forming, according to scientists. It is expected the ice will continue to be lost from the "fragile and vulnerable" shelf over the coming weeks. ...


Pity this slow motion train wreck of a planet...

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Tue, Apr 28, 2009
from Scientific American:
New York City-sized ice collapses off Antarctica
TROMSOE, Norway (Reuters) - An area of an Antarctic ice shelf almost the size of New York City has broken into icebergs this month after the collapse of an ice bridge widely blamed on global warming, a scientist said Tuesday. "The northern ice front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf has become unstable and the first icebergs have been released," Angelika Humbert, glaciologist at the University of Muenster in Germany, said of European Space Agency satellite images of the shelf. Humbert told Reuters about 700 sq km (270.3 sq mile) of ice -- bigger than Singapore or Bahrain and almost the size of New York City -- has broken off the Wilkins this month and shattered into a mass of icebergs. ...


Cue the theme from Jaws...

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Mon, Apr 27, 2009
from Bloomberg News:
Galapagos Penguins Need 'Condos' With Global Warming
The Galapagos Islands, renowned for rare animals that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, may have to create special shelters to save species from global warming and rising sea levels. Scientists who met there last week decided the indigenous penguin needs "condos" built in cooler, higher areas to nest more safely, Giuseppe Di Carlo, marine climate-change manager at Conservation International, said in an interview. Shadier bushes would protect plants and animals such as birds and tortoises that produce too many of the same sex in hotter weather. ...


These condos better be carbon neutral!

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Mon, Apr 27, 2009
from New York Times:
Study Says Warming Poses Peril to Asia
With diminished rice harvests, seawater seeping into aquifers and islands vanishing into rising oceans, Southeast Asia will be among the regions worst affected by global warming, according to a report scheduled for release on Monday by the Asian Development Bank. The rise in sea levels may force the sprawling archipelago of Indonesia to redraw its sea boundaries, the report said... Southeast Asia is particularly vulnerable to global warming because of the number of people who live near coastlines and the high rate of poverty. About 19 percent of those in Southeast Asian, some 93 million people, live on less than $1.25 a day and are more vulnerable to the projected increase in typhoons, drought and floods. ...


Well, they sure ain't gonna be able to buy their way out of this problem!

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Fri, Apr 24, 2009
from Yale Environment 360:
Bill McKibben on Building A Climate Action Movement
Author Bill McKibben first warned about global warming and its implications for the planet in his 1989 book, The End of Nature. But in the last few years, it has become the focus of his work as an organizer of 350.org, an advocacy organization promoting global action to tackle climate change. In an interview with Yale Environment 360 editor Roger Cohn, McKibben described why he is working fulltime on the issue, why he thinks a citizens movement is essential for giving President Obama the "political space" necessary to address climate change, why a "cap-and-dividend" system might offer the most potential, and why he believes the jury is still out on whether the most serious impacts of climate change can be avoided. "For the moment, I am not spending my time being either optimistic or pessimistic," he said. "I am just working." ...


We ALL need to start working fulltime on this.

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Thu, Apr 9, 2009
from BBC:
Americas on alert for sea level rise
Climate change experts in North and South America are increasingly worried by the potentially devastating implications of higher estimates for possible sea level rises. The Americas have until now been seen as less vulnerable than other parts of the world like low-lying Pacific islands, Vietnam or Bangladesh. But the increase in the ranges for anticipated sea level rises presented at a meeting of scientists in Copenhagen in March has alarmed observers in the region. Parts of the Caribbean, Mexico and Ecuador are seen as most at risk. New York City and southern parts of Florida are also thought to be particularly vulnerable. ...


Great news for the snorkeling business!

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Sun, Apr 5, 2009
from Calcutta Telegraph:
Tiger prey to rising waves
The tiger may once have ruled the jungles. But now it is being forced to surrender to many things, including climate change. According to a recent finding, climate change is threatening to push the Royal Bengal Tiger on the verge of extinction in 60 years. A recent study carried out on tigers in the Sunderbans by the US unit of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has predicted that the tiger population would significantly reduce as a direct fall-out of climate change and corresponding rise in the sea level. ...


Another poster child for species collapse.

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Sun, Apr 5, 2009
from Reuters:
Ice bridge holding Antarctic ice shelf cracks up
An ice bridge which had apparently held a vast Antarctic ice shelf in place during recorded history shattered on Saturday and could herald a wider collapse linked to global warming, a leading scientist said. "It's amazing how the ice has ruptured. Two days ago it was intact," David Vaughan, a glaciologist with the British Antarctic Survey, told Reuters of a satellite image of the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. The satellite picture, from the European Space Agency (ESA), showed that a 40 km (25 mile) long strip of ice believed to pin the Wilkins Ice Shelf in place had splintered at its narrowest point, about 500 meters wide. ...


By "cracks up," I'm presuming they don't mean its funnybone was tickled.

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Sun, Apr 5, 2009
from Associated Press:
Climate change threatens Channel Islands artifacts
...Around the globe, climate change is erasing the archaeological record, already under assault from development, grave robbers and illegal trade. Most at risk are prehistoric burials entombed in ice and ancient settlements hugging ever-shrinking coastlines. A warming planet is speeding the melting of polar ice, threatening to expose frozen remains like Scythian warrior mummies in Mongolia. Thawing permafrost is causing the ground to slump on Canada's Herschel Island, damaging caskets dating to the whaling heyday. Accelerated glacial melting may flood pre-Incan temples and tombs in the northern Andean highlands of Peru...."There are whole civilizations that we risk losing completely," said C. Brian Rose, president of the Archaeological Institute of America. "History is disintegrating before our very eyes." ...


...there's a certain sad symmetry to erasing history as we're ruining the future...

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Sat, Apr 4, 2009
from Reuters:
Wordie Ice Shelf has disappeared: scientists
One Antarctic ice shelf has quickly vanished, another is disappearing and glaciers are melting faster than anyone thought due to climate change, U.S. and British government researchers reported on Friday. They said the Wordie Ice Shelf, which had been disintegrating since the 1960s, is gone and the northern part of the Larsen Ice Shelf no longer exists. More than 3,200 square miles (8,300 square km) have broken off from the Larsen shelf since 1986. Climate change is to blame, according to the report from the U.S. Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey, available at pubs.usgs.gov/imap/2600/B. "The rapid retreat of glaciers there demonstrates once again the profound effects our planet is already experiencing -- more rapidly than previously known -- as a consequence of climate change," U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. ...


Wordie up! Wordie... down...

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Sat, Mar 28, 2009
from Miami Herald:
Ample evidence Florida's feeling effects of climate change
...People who study South Florida's environment say global warming is starting to have a significant impact on Florida's fish, fowl and flora... Changes in Florida's climate are far more subtle than, say, a melting Alaskan glacier. But the state has a lot at stake: Florida has 1,200 miles of coastline and 11 million acres of wetlands and low elevations, making it more vulnerable to rising seas, beach erosion and the inland movement of saltwater in places like the Keys. The last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that tropical cyclones (which we call hurricanes) are increasing in intensity in some ocean basins, especially in the North Atlantic basin where hurricanes form, because of warming seas. ...


Where will the snow birds fly?

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Sun, Mar 22, 2009
from Palm Beach Daily News:
Rubber ducks dropped into Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier to track ice flow
To keep track of climate change, scientists around the world employ some of the most sophisticated devices and machines found in the 21st century. Advanced theoretical models run on huge number-crunching computers, while thousands of miles up in space complex satellites examine every nook and cranny of our atmosphere. Still, sometimes scientists just need a rubber ducky. At least, that's what Alberto Behar, a researcher from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, used recently to try to figure out what's going on inside the world's fastest-moving glacier. Behar dropped 90 rubber ducks inside the Jakobshavn Glacier, not far from Greenland, last September to try to determine why glaciers speed up in the summer months during their annual march to the sea. Behar says the Jakobshavn Glacier discharges around 7 percent of all the ice that comes off of Greenland each year. Thanks to global warming, scientists believe its melting ice sheet could help raise ocean levels in the coming years. ...


This idea was hatched at the Ernie Institute.

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Tue, Mar 17, 2009
from PNAS, via Mongabay:
Experts forecast high probability of global warming tipping points
The probability of Earth's climate passing a "tipping point" that could result in large impacts within the next two centuries is greater than 50 percent, according to research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... [T]he authors calculate a 16 percent chance that climate change will trigger at least one of the events for a 2-4 degree C rise in temperature, and a 56 percent change for a 4 degree C or higher rise.... Of the events, the experts pegged melting of the Greenland ice sheet as the most likely to occur (60 percent for a 4-8 degree C rise in temperature). An ice-free Greenland would raise sea levels by more than 23 feet (7 meters). The likelihood of a permanent el Nino -- which would trigger changes in rainfall and temperature around the global -- or a catastrophic die-off (more than 50 percent) of the Amazon rainforest was estimated at about 50 percent under a high warming scenario. ...


Two centuries?
Lucky for me, I'll be long dead!

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Wed, Mar 11, 2009
from New Scientist:
Sea level rise could bust IPCC estimate
that's the first big message to come from the climate change congress that kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark, today. Researchers, including John Church of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, presented evidence that Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice fast, contributing to the annual sea-level rise. Recent data shows that waters have been rising by 3 millimetres a year since 1993. ... By 2100, sea levels could be 1 metre or more above current levels, he says. And it looks increasingly unlikely that the rise will be much less than 50 centimetres. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecast a rise of 18 cm to 59 cm by 2100. But the numbers came with a heavy caveat that often went unnoticed by the popular press.... Church says even 50 cm would have a huge effect on flooding events. "Our study on Australia showed that coastal flooding events that today we expect only once every 100 years will happen several times a year by 2100," he says. ...


Do you mean that my coastal condo won't retain its value?!

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Mon, Mar 9, 2009
from Macleay Argus (Australia):
Planning for the tipping point
The overwhelming majority of the world's scientists agree that emissions of global warming gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are trapping the heat in our atmosphere, destabilising the climatic systems that have prevailed for thousands of years, and ultimately leading to wild weather events involving more frequent storms, floods, droughts and, through the melting of the ice sheets, sea level rise. All of their tracking points to a faster warming than anticipated, such that we will soon reach what scientists call a tipping point. This is a point where forests, soils and the permafrost warm to the point where they begin to release increasing quantities of greenhouse gasses of their own accord, creating a feedback of rapidly accelerating greenhouse emissions and warming that is no longer within our control. At that point, we will be unable to stop the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet and possibly the Antarctic as well. Loss of Greenland will eventually lead to a 7m rise in sea levels. ...


That's a rise too big to surf!

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Sun, Mar 8, 2009
from London Guardian:
Scientists to issue stark warning over dramatic new sea level figures
Scientists will warn this week that rising sea levels, triggered by global warming, pose a far greater danger to the planet than previously estimated. There is now a major risk that many coastal areas around the world will be inundated by the end of the century because Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting faster than previously estimated. Low-lying areas including Bangladesh, Florida, the Maldives and the Netherlands face catastrophic flooding, while, in Britain, large areas of the Norfolk Broads and the Thames estuary are likely to disappear by 2100. In addition, cities including London, Hull and Portsmouth will need new flood defences. ...


Our cup... runneth o'er.

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Mon, Feb 23, 2009
from Washington Post:
Climate Fears Are Driving 'Ecomigration' Across Globe
Adam Fier recently sold his home, got rid of his car and pulled his twin 6-year-old girls out of elementary school in Montgomery County. He and his wife packed the family's belongings and moved to New Zealand -- a place they had never visited or seen before, and where they have no family or professional connections. Among the top reasons: global warming. Halfway around the world, the president of Kiribati, a Pacific nation of low-lying islands, said last week that his country is exploring ways to move all its 100,000 citizens to a new homeland because of fears that a steadily rising ocean will make the islands uninhabitable. ...


Another buzzword: Ecomigration! Here's one we Docs like: RUN LIKE HELL!

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Sat, Feb 21, 2009
from Science:
Arctic Coastal Erosion Doubles in 50 Years
As if record-breaking losses of sea ice and thawing permafrost weren't enough, climate change is also sweeping parts of the Arctic out to sea. New research in Geophysical Research Letters reports that the rate of erosion along a stretch of Alaska's northeastern coastline has doubled over the past 52 years. Such deterioration of arctic coastlines is likely to have significant impacts on local ecosystems, communities living in the Arctic, and oil and gas development. Arctic shorelines are especially susceptible to erosion because their sediments are often held together by nothing more than ice. Scientists have been concerned about these fragile coasts, because they will be pounded harder by waves as the sea ice disappears and storms intensify. Warmer water and rising sea levels make matters even worse. Ground zero might well be the coastline along the Beaufort Sea in northeastern Alaska, where the sediments are particularly ice-rich and the shore unprotected. ...


If I can't see this from my window it doesn't exist!

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
from Times Online (UK):
Polar ice caps melting faster
THE ice caps are melting so fast that the world's oceans are rising more than twice as fast as they were in the 1970s, scientists have found. They have used satellites to track how the oceans are responding as billions of gallons of water reach them from melting ice sheets and glaciers. The effect is compounded by thermal expansion, in which water expands as it warms, according to the study by Anny Cazenave of the National Centre for Space Studies in France. These findings come at the same time as a warning from an American academic whose research suggests Labour's policies to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 are doomed. ...


Can't we just turn back the clock?

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Fri, Feb 6, 2009
from New Scientist:
Antarctic bulge could flood Washington DC
Rather than spreading out evenly across all the oceans, water from melted Antarctic ice sheets will gather around North America and the Indian Ocean. That's bad news for the US East Coast, which could bear the brunt of one of these oceanic bulges.... Once the ice melts, the release of pressure could also cause the Antarctic continent to rise by 100 metres. And as the weight of the ice pressing down on the continental shelf is released, the rock will spring back, displacing seawater that will also spread across the oceans.... The upshot is that the North American continent and the Indian Ocean will experience the greatest changes in sea level -- adding 1 or 2 metres to the current estimates. Washington DC sits squarely in this area, meaning it could face a 6.3-metre sea level rise in total. California will also be in the target zone. ...


That's... um... like twenty feet....

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Thu, Feb 5, 2009
from BBC:
Parched Perth embarks on water rescue
Turning the sea into drinking water is at the heart of Western Australia's multi-faceted approach to satisfying the thirst of a booming population that lives on the edge of a desert. "We had a history of taking gutsy decisions," said Jim Gill, former chief executive of the Water Corporation of Western Australia, a government-owned monopoly. "And that's what put us in a position of world leadership in terms of dealing with a drying climate." The corporation opened the southern hemisphere's first desalination plant, south of Perth, in November 2006. Powered by a wind farm, the move was prompted by the driest winter ever recorded in Western Australia (WA) - a region that was among the first to see the effects of a shifting climate. ...


And as the ice melts there'll be all the more ocean to desalinate!

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Mon, Feb 2, 2009
from Reuters:
Rising sea salinates India's Ganges: expert
KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Rising sea levels are causing salt water to flow into India's biggest river, threatening its ecosystem and turning vast farmlands barren in the country's east, a climate change expert warned Monday. A study by an east Indian university in the city of Kolkata revealed surprising growth of mangroves on the Ganges river, said Pranabes Sanyal, the eastern India representative of the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA). "This phenomenon is called extension of salt wedge and it will salinate the groundwater of Kolkata and turn agricultural lands barren in adjoining rural belts," said Sanyal, an expert in global warming. Sea levels in some parts of the Bay of Bengal were rising at 3.14 mm annually against a global average of 2 mm, threatening the low-lying areas of eastern India. Climate experts warned last year that as temperatures rise, the Indian subcontinent -- home to about one-sixth of humanity -- will be badly hit with more frequent and more severe natural disasters such as floods and storms and more disease and hunger. ...


One wonders if this salt will enable or inhibit the transmigration of the soul.

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Sun, Jan 25, 2009
from London Guardian:
Living on thin ice
...Based on occasional submarine journeys and more recently satellite data, charts of the total area of Arctic sea ice have shown a gradual decline over the past 40 years. Then, in 2007, the line on the chart appeared to drop off a cliff, plunging below 5,000,000 sq km a full three decades ahead of forecasts. The dramatic events of two summers ago, when a Russian submarine rushed to plant a flag under the pole and Canadian and European governments tersely laid rival claims to sovereignty, led many scientists to warn that the Arctic sea ice could disappear entirely during the summer months much sooner than had been feared. Most experts agree on the impact this will have on 5m Arctic inhabitants and the rest of the world - from the loss of the unique habitat that exists under the ice to rising global sea levels and possible changes to the ocean circulation and the weather patterns of the whole planet. Yet forecasts for when this will happen range from just four years to the end of the century. The reason is that very little is understood about the depth and density of the sea ice, and therefore the total volume of water frozen at the top of the world. This is what Hadow's Catlin Arctic Survey - appropriately sponsored by an insurance company - hopes to put right by providing the much-needed data about how much ice is left, and so help work out how much time we have to prepare for what is probably the most immediate, truly global threat of climate change. ...


Of all the climate tipping points, the Arctic melt may be the tippiest point of all.

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Sun, Jan 18, 2009
from Canwest News Service:
Climate warming 'highly unusual' says new study
A major U.S. government report on Arctic climate, prepared with information from eight Canadian scientists, has concluded that the recent rapid warming of polar temperatures and shrinking of multi-year Arctic sea ice are "highly unusual compared to events from previous thousands of years." The findings, released Friday, counter suggestions from skeptics that such recent events as the opening of the Northwest Passage and collapse of ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic are predictable phenomena that can be explained as part of a natural climate cycle rather than being driven by elevated carbon emissions from human activity. A summary of the report -- described as "the first comprehensive analysis of the real data we have on past climate conditions in the Arctic," by U.S. Geological Survey director Mark Myers -- warns that "sustained warming of at least a few degrees" is probably enough "to cause the nearly complete, eventual disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet, which would raise sea level by several metres." ...


The CO2 emissions from skeptics straining to explain away global warming just went up a couple ppm.

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Sat, Jan 17, 2009
from Wilmington News Journal:
Report warns of impact on coast from warming
More storm-related flooding, shoreline erosion, habitat loss and saltwater intrusion into potential drinking water supplies are expected in Delaware and other Mid-Atlantic states as the climate warms, according to a report issued Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency. Delaware officials said they plan to use the federal report as a stepping-off point to plan for adaptation as the sea level continues to rise. Most troubling for Dave Carter, program manager for Delaware Coastal Programs, is that sea-level rise, combined with a settling of land, already is causing problems in some low-lying areas along Delaware Bay. "These are the early signals," he said. Comparing the state's new elevation data with Federal Emergency Management Flood Plan Maps for some areas in Delaware shows places where potential evacuation routes -- especially along Delaware Bay -- will be flooded "long before residents realize their lives are in danger," he said. ...


I've GOT to start investing in the floaties manufacturing industry!

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Mon, Jan 12, 2009
from Bloomberg News:
Greenland's Rapid Glacier Retreat May Stall, Scientists Say
The rapid shrinking of glaciers in Greenland during recent years may stall, diminishing the Arctic island's potential contribution to rising sea levels blamed on global warming, a U.K.-led research team found. The study in the journal Nature Geoscience indicates the faster-than-normal ice loss observed in many of Greenland's glaciers in the early 2000s won't be sustained, said Andreas Vieli, a glaciologist at Durham University in northern England... While the researchers studied one glacier, they said their findings apply to glaciers in similar terrain that are grounded at their snout in a trough reaching below sea-level. ...


Seen one glacier ... seen 'em all.

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Sat, Dec 20, 2008
from BBC:
Swiss glaciers 'in full retreat'
Swiss glaciers are melting away at an accelerating rate and many will vanish this century if climate projections are correct, two new studies suggest. One assessment found that some 10 cubic km of ice have been lost from 1,500 glaciers over the past nine years. The other study, based on a sample of 30 representative glaciers, indicates the group's members are now losing a metre of thickness every year. Both pieces of work come out of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. "The trend is negative, but what we see is that the trend is also steepening," said Matthias Huss from the Zurich university's Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology. ...


And everyone knows, Swiss glaciers are the very best kind of glaciers.

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Thu, Dec 18, 2008
from Times Online (UK):
Seas will rise faster than predicted, say scientists
Sea levels will rise much faster than previously forecast because of the rate that glaciers and ice sheets are melting, a study has found. Research commissioned by the US Climate Change Science Program concludes that the rises will substantially exceed forecasts that do not take into account the latest data and observations. The adjusted outlook, announced at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, suggests that recent predictions of a rise of between 7in and 2ft over the next century are conservative. ...


YAFTE -- yet another "faster than expected"...

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Wed, Dec 10, 2008
from AFP:
Fifth of world's corals already dead, say experts
Almost a fifth of the planet's coral reefs have died and carbon emissions are largely to blame, according to an NGO study released Wednesday. The report, released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, warned that on current trends, growing levels of greenhouse gases will destroy many of the remaining reefs over the next 20 to 40 years. "If nothing is done to substantially cut emissions, we could effectively lose coral reefs as we know them, with major coral extinctions," said Clive Wilkinson, the organisation's coordinator. ...


Any way to turn back time, so we might learn from our mistakes?

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Sat, Nov 1, 2008
from Jakarta Post:
Mass relocation planned as seas rise
The government is preparing to relocate people living on islands considered vulnerable to rising sea levels over the next three decades. Sea levels are expected to surge drastically between 2030 and 2040 because of global warming. Experts and the government fear that about 2,000 islands across the country will sink. ...


At least some governments are thinking ahead!

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Fri, Sep 12, 2008
from Washington Post:
Beating Back the Ocean
...People around the world are wrestling with how to preserve the beaches they have settled on. In Redington Shores, Fla., engineers constructed a barrier to break the waves farther out. Several Mediterranean towns have replaced their beaches' sand with more-resilient gravel. ...


Imagine being an 80 lb. weakling and having gravel kicked in your face!

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Tue, Sep 2, 2008
from Guardian (UK):
Global warming: Sea level rises may accelerate due to melting ice sheet
The vast Greenland ice sheet could begin to melt more rapidly than expected towards the end of the century, accelerating the rise in sea levels as a result of global warming, scientists warned yesterday. Water running off the ice sheet could triple the current rate of sea level rise to around 9mm a year, leading to a global rise of almost 1 metre per century, the researchers found.... There are signs that the Greenland ice sheet, which covers 1.7 million square kilometres of land, has already begun to melt faster than expected. The reason is thought to be surface water on the ice sheet trickling down through fissures to the underlying bedrock, making the ice sheet less stable, and the loss of buttressing ice shelves along the coastline. ...


Uh-oh. "Faster than expected" has, thus far, preceded "holy shit" by only a year or two.

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Sun, Aug 24, 2008
from London Observer:
Beauty spots to be devoured by sea
"Some of Britain's most famous coastal landmarks will be radically changed or even lost because it is no longer possible to hold back rising seas and coastal erosion, according to the National Trust. The castle of St Michael's Mount off the coast of Cornwall, the white cliffs of Birling Gap in East Sussex, Studland beach in Dorset and the dunes of Formby, near Liverpool, are among the places which could alter dramatically. In one of the most extreme cases to be identified by the trust, the entire 18th-century fishing village of Porthdinllaen on the north-west coast of Wales could be left to crumble into the sea." ...


As long as my liver spots, sun spots and age spots are removed along with them!

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Tue, Aug 19, 2008
from Radio Australia:
Australian expert says sea levels to rise four metres
"An Australian climate change expert says the world's sea levels could rise by up to four meters this century. The head of the climate change unit at the Australian National University and science adviser to the federal Government, Professor Will Steffen, says he believes the scientific community is underestimating the speed at which the climate is changing. Rising sea levels from global warming are predicted to make some Pacific islands unlivable within the next decade, with Tuvalu expected to be underwater by 2050." ...


The higher the sea level, the closer to the beach I'll be chilling!

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Wed, Jun 18, 2008
from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory:
Ocean temperatures and sea level increases are 50 percent higher than previously estimated
New research suggests that ocean temperature and associated sea level increases between 1961 and 2003 were 50 percent larger than estimated in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.... The research corrected for small but systematic biases recently discovered in the global ocean observing system, and uses statistical techniques that "infill" information in data-sparse regions. The results increase scientists' confidence in ocean observations and further demonstrate that climate models simulate ocean temperature variability more realistically than previously thought. ...


The results increase our confidence that
we better get a move on!

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Fri, Jun 6, 2008
from The Independent (UK):
Paradise lost: climate change forces South Sea islanders to seek sanctuary abroad
After years of fruitless appeals for decisive action on climate change, the tiny South Pacific nation of Kiribati has concluded that it is doomed. Yesterday its President, Anote Tong, used World Environment Day to request international help to evacuate his country before it disappears. Water supplies are being contaminated by the encroaching salt water, Mr Tong said, and crops destroyed. Beachside communities have been moved inland. But Kiribati -- 33 coral atolls sprinkled across two million square miles of ocean -- has limited scope to adapt. Its highest land is barely 6 feet above sea level. ...


How handy: a practice round.

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Sat, May 24, 2008
from National Wildlife Federation via ScienceDaily:
Dramatic Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On Chesapeake Bay's Coastal Habitats
"A new report ... shows in vivid detail the dramatic effects of sea-level rise on the largest estuary in the US, which sustains more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals including great blue herons and sea turtles. If global warming continues unabated, projected rising sea levels will significantly reshape the region's coastal landscape, threatening waterfowl hunting and recreational saltwater fishing in Virginia and Maryland, according to the report by the National Wildlife Federation." ...


Since global warming doesn't seem to be abating, everybody better start heading for the hills.

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Tue, Apr 22, 2008
from Miami Herald:
Forecast of rising waters paints bleak future for S. Fla. coasts
"Under conservative predictions of a three-foot rise in sea level, high tide would wash daily into downtown Miami, South Beach and Hollywood by century's end. At five feet, the sea would swallow much of the Everglades and cover pavement from Fort Lauderdale across to Naples. ...


Just so no golf courses are threatened!

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Sat, Apr 19, 2008
from Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Scientist: Stop carbon emissions or face ruin
"Droughts, more wildfires, hotter and longer summers and more violent storms will plague the desert Southwest if carbon-dioxide pollution continues, a leading climate-change scientist believes. Sea levels will rise several feet, covering the state of Florida, the country of Bangladesh and most beachfront property by the end of the century if people keep pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at the current rate, said James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies." ...


Oh that James Hansen. Even if he found a silver lining in a cloud, it would be made of mercury.

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Thu, Apr 17, 2008
from London Guardian:
Waves of Destruction
"Rising seas are changing Britain's coast dramatically. Norfolk is the first low-lying area to face a stark and cruel new choice - plough millions into doomed defences, or abandon whole villages to the invading waters...More than 15 million people live close to Britain's coastline. This small corner of Norfolk is the first to confront what every low-lying community in the country will face in the coming decades: the real cost of increased erosion, storms and sea-level rises exacerbated by global warming. It presents local people and the government with a stark dilemma. Is it worth spending billions on defending homes and livelihoods? Or, faced with inexorable sea-level rise, should expensive coastal defences be abandoned, leading to the evacuation of land and houses?" ...


Or should we accelerate our genetic mutations and grow gills?

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Wed, Apr 16, 2008
from New Scientist:
World sea levels seen rising 1.5m by 2100
"Melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warming water could lift sea levels by as much as 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) by the end of this century, displacing tens of millions of people, new research showed on Tuesday. Presented at a European Geosciences Union conference, the research forecasts a rise in sea levels three times higher than that predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last year. The U.N. climate panel shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore." ...


If you're not on a coast somewhere, start renovating that extra bedroom -- or turn your garage into housing -- you can make extra money housing refugees!

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Mon, Apr 14, 2008
from Reuters:
Bangladesh faces climate change refugee nightmare
"DHAKA - Abdul Majid has been forced to move 22 times in as many years, a victim of the annual floods that ravage Bangladesh. There are millions like Majid, 65, in Bangladesh and in the future there could be many millions more if scientists' predictions of rising seas and more intense droughts and storms come true...Experts say a third of Bangladesh's coastline could be flooded if the sea rises one metre in the next 50 years, creating an additional 20 million Bangladeshis displaced from their homes and farms." ...


What are you called if you leave the coastline early -- in anticipation of rising sea levels? A prefugee!

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Fri, Mar 14, 2008
from National Geographic News:
Water in Dams, Reservoirs Preventing Sea-Level Rise
"Dams and reservoirs have stored so much water over the past several decades that they have masked surging sea levels, a new study says. But dam building has slowed, meaning sea levels could rise more quickly than researchers predicted in a 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Sea levels have been rising for decades, due mostly to global warming caused by greenhouse gases. The oceans are on average about 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) higher now than in 1930, when they started a noticeable upward climb. Melting glaciers and ice caps, along with ocean warming—water expands as it heats up—are the main culprits behind the increase." ...


Well, damn it, why can't we just build more dams!

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Mon, Mar 10, 2008
from The Atlantic:
Waterworld
"Excerpt: The Earth has always been unstable. Flooding and erosion, cyclones and tsunamis are the norm rather than the exception. But never have the planet’s most environmentally frail areas been so crowded. The slowdown in the growth rate of the world’s population has not changed the fact that the number of people living in the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters continues to increase. The Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 was merely a curtain-raiser. Over the coming decades, Mother Nature is likely to kill or make homeless a staggering number of people. American journalists sometimes joke that, in terms of news, thousands of people displaced by floods in Bangladesh equals a handful of people killed or displaced closer to home. But that formula is now as unimaginative and out-of-date as it is cruel." ...


While we normally try and titillate you to read these news stories with our snarky remarks, all we can do with this fine piece of narrative journalism is simply to beseech you: Click on the link and read...

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Fri, Feb 8, 2008
from Nature:
Poor Projections
"The extent to which sea level could rise by 2100 is greatly underestimated in current models, suggests a new study, highlighting the risk faced by coastal areas and island nations. Radley Horton at Columbia University, US, and colleagues estimated that sea level could rise by 54 to 89 centimetres by the end of the century, in contrast to the latest estimate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of 18 to 59 centimetres." ...


Seriously, by 2100 will anyone even care?

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