Jim Hansen, NASA climate scientist, is saying we don’t have much time to cut carbon emissions.We’re not talking some abstract warming scenario, but SEVERE COASTAL INUNDATION WORLDWIDE. Headlined on the Drudge Report, I’m not going to make any waves posting here. But I’ve got to comment. First, some VERY ALARMING text from the report:
A satellite study of the Greenland ice cap shows that it is melting far faster than scientists had feared – twice as much ice is going into the sea as it was five years ago. The implications for rising sea levels – and climate change – could be dramatic…..
How fast can this go? Right now, I think our best measure is what happened in the past. We know that, for instance, 14,000 years ago sea levels rose by 20m in 400 years – that is five metres in a century. This was towards the end of the last ice age, so there was more ice around. But, on the other hand, temperatures were not warming as fast as today.
5 meters is close to 16 feet. Check your coastal topographic maps to see what could be lost. Or this site from the EPA, which looks at much less drastic change.
How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today – which is what we expect later this century – sea levels were 25m higher. So that is what we can look forward to if we don’t act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this. But I prefer the evidence from the Earth’s history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.
For all you metrically challenged out there, 25 meters is around 80 feet higher!
So…are we ready to lose some of the most valuable real estate worldwide: ports, cities, and low lying islands? This is what we’re in for if we don’t stop burning carbon or figure out a way to sequester the CO2. It will be interesting to watch the talking heads blather helplessly about this as it happens, when they were all warned for decades by scientists.
To George W. Bush, who will have wasted 8 of the precious years we had to prevent this scenario, and whose press team tried to silence Jim Hansen as he spoke, I say: If you’re not going to listen to your own NASA scientists about literally the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE IN THE WORLD, what the FUCK are you paying them for?????