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           Antarctica photo: Antarctica antarctica.jpg

First, the bad news:

For years scientists have pointed to the instability of the Western Antarctic as posing the greatest immediate potential threat of rising seas. A 1998 study published in Nature suggested sea rise could amount to 4-6 meters assuming warming trends in the ocean surrounding the Western Antarctic continued their relentless increase.  A new study, however, suggests that the Eastern Antarctic, containing far more ice than its smaller Western counterpart, is now at risk.

East Antarctica is widely considered to be more stable than the West Antarctic ice sheet but a study suggests that a large region of the eastern ice sheet is in danger of becoming irreversibly unstable once a relatively thin section of retaining ice on its coast is lost, the researchers said.

A slab of coastal ice is all that is stopping the giant Wilkes Basin ice sheet from slipping into the sea. Once this process begins it will relentlessly continue to pour vast amounts of water into the oceans for centuries to come, raising global sea levels by between 3-4m, they said.

Matthias Mengele of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany likens the  Wilkes Basin in Eastern Antarctica to a tilted bottle filled with water. The "cork" in this case (the ice plug formed by bedrock underlying the Wilkes basin) is far smaller than the amount of ice it keeps in. Uncork it and the contents begin to spill out. Mengele is the lead author of a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change :
East Antarctica holds around a 10-times-greater volume of ice than West Antarctica. Much of the ice in the east lies at high altitude and is kept well below freezing point, but a large proportion of it - enough to raise sea levels by 19m - lies on bedrock that is below sea level, such as the Wilkes Basin.

Scientists had considered even this low-lying part of the East Antarctic ice sheet - the so-called marine ice sheet - to be more stable and less likely to disintegrate in a warmer climate than the marine ice sheet of the West Antarctic. However, analysis of the bedrock on which the marine ice sheet of Wilkes Basin stands suggests this is not the case. Scientists found that the rock becomes a raised ridge at the coast which allows the ice to form a protective plug between the ocean and the ice sheet.

The bad news is that once this process starts--once the "cork" has been popped--the process is irreversible. Mengele's study showed through computer modeling that once the "plug" formed by the ice and bedrock in the Wilkes basin is eroded through rising ocean temperatures, the vast amount of ice "held in" begins to contact the ocean and continues to melt....and melt...and melt:
Melting would make the grounding line retreat – this is where the ice on the continent meets the sea and starts to float. The rocky ground beneath the ice forms a huge inland sloping valley below sea-level. When the grounding line retreats from its current position on a ridge into the valley, the rim of the ice facing the ocean becomes higher than before. More ice is then pushed into the sea, eventually breaking off and melting. And the warmer it gets, the faster this happens.
Mengele's study can be found here.

In total the Antarctic ice shelf contains enough ice to raise sea levels from 50-60 meters, enough to submerge the building that houses Fox News in Manhattan, among others.

Coastal cities, several U.S. states, populations, and many islands, of course, would be inundated. Washington DC would likely become a water park.

The good news is that the process will take several centuries. The study found it may take as many as 200 years for the "cork" to melt, with the outflowing and subsequent melting of all of the trapped ice taking several thousands of years.

That is taking into account current estimates of rising ocean temperatures.  Unfortunately the estimates of the rate of melting for the Western Antarctic weren't exactly accurate the first time around. Remember that 1998 study? It was updated fairly recently:

In 2012, another paper said that temperatures in the West Antarctic had risen dramatically more than scientists had earlier thought — 4.4 degrees since 1958. Then just last month, more bad news hit: The West Antarctic is shedding ice at a faster rate than ever, with six regional glaciers disgorging roughly as much ice as the entire Greenland ice sheet.
So no one should be "popping corks" to celebrate just yet.

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  •  Tip Jar (146+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, skepticalcitizen, Glen The Plumber, monkeybrainpolitics, ericlewis0, kevinpdx, The Termite, Youffraita, Shockwave, weck, thomask, offgrid, tampaedski, Polly Syllabic, LynChi, AnnieR, MsGrin, SteelerGrrl, cv lurking gf, Lily O Lady, Horace Boothroyd III, LinSea, maryabein, citisven, One Pissed Off Liberal, Steven D, cskendrick, old wobbly, Hastur, Hayate Yagami, Sunspots, Mary Mike, blackjackal, chimpy, Lawrence, tegrat, flowerfarmer, Burned, Catte Nappe, dewtx, Alumbrados, Paul Ferguson, Pakalolo, Diana in NoVa, antirove, gulfgal98, leeleedee, marleycat, MadMs, Jim R, Kevskos, Tool, Overseas, FarWestGirl, ivote2004, YucatanMan, janmtairy, Smoh, eeff, 207wickedgood, Little Lulu, HedwigKos, KenBee, wayoutinthestix, rapala, myrmecia gulosa, walkshills, slowbutsure, juliesie, clutch1, Albanius, Laurel in CA, jamess, wader, 2thanks, GreyHawk, martinjedlicka, commonmass, TracieLynn, Syoho, mikeconwell, atana, eagleray, psnyder, jasan, IndieGuy, emmasnacker, NJpeach, ypochris, Windowpane, randomfacts, hubcap, mrsgoo, serendipityisabitch, subtropolis, nomandates, tmservo433, charliehall2, Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, bear83, where4art, belinda ridgewood, skybluewater, greycat, pixxer, Lujane, LI Mike, jwinIL14, Liberal Thinking, deepeco, BlueDragon, dRefractor, profundo, Colorado is the Shiznit, jayden, ozsea1, defluxion10, CA ridebalanced, lehman scott, worldlotus, JimWilson, LaughingPlanet, DerAmi, Rosaura, basquebob, flitedocnm, George3, Creosote, RUNDOWN, Tinfoil Hat, NYFM, Imhotepsings, StrayCat, Heart n Mind, greenbastard, Sylv, Pilotshark, psychodrew, zerelda, BMScott, jfromga, Lilith, SanFernandoValleyMom, glitterscale, Eric Nelson, Angie in WA State
  •  I'll predict a major interest in sea walls (23+ / 0-)

    or pumps or some kind of private profit / tax-paid solution to the "no-body-could-have-predicted" problem of the richies' beaches and towns being under water. Of course the poors' coasts will mean nothing.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Tue May 06, 2014 at 03:28:14 PM PDT

    •  Then they will need 40-50 foot high seawalls (26+ / 0-)

      It's not the average sea level increase that will jack up their P&C insurance rates.

      It will be the greatly magnified storm surges that come more often that do so.

      •  "You're going to need a bigger seawall." (10+ / 0-)

        DUM dum DUM dum DUM dum...

        I am proud to be able to say that I got the chance to vote for Ann Richards for Governor of Texas, twice!

        by dewtx on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:44:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sea walls and levees won't do the job (18+ / 0-)

          They won't do it on the east coast of the US which by 2035 will have begun to lose more than 100 cities of 100,000 or greater population including all of the Bos-Wash corridor and their suburbs.

          They won't do it for Delaware, New Jersey, Florida or Louisiana either. By 2050 we could reach 2 degrees C and see that urban destruction take all the East and Gulf Coast coast sea ports and many large airports like Boston's Logan, New York's JFK Newark and LaGuardia, Washington's Reagan, Dulles, and BWI to mention but a few.

          We might salvage some parts and move them inland but most of the city infrastructure including its nuke plants is going to be abandoned in place to slip beneath the waves.

          In Greenland the ice is already melting and that might account for 6 meters. All told the total is expected to reach 60 meters (200 feet) before the process is finished.

          Temperatures may reach 8 degrees C by 2100 and if there is any ice left then I don't know where it will be,
          Instead of the melting taking millenia as was first assumed or centuries as been assumed in this report, we could easily see a lot of synergy from everything else going on including methane hydrate releases measured in earth atmospheres, changes in the Jet Stream and ocean currents.

          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

          by rktect on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:36:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A six degree C increase by 2100.... (10+ / 0-)

            gets you two meters sea level increase WORLDWIDE, about three to four meters on the Eastern Seaboard en route to a 20-meter ultimate increase if global warming is stopped cold.

            Let's all let that sink in: Perhaps 2-3 billion people will have to relocate over the next several centuries, or we will have to get MUCH better at building seawalls.

            And that's the BEST case scenario.

            Now, since I worked this out once, what's the worst case?

            Try a 22 degree C increase by the late Third Millennium, an 80-meter sea level increase, and extreme temperature highs on the order of 44-66 degrees C higher in the mid-temperate latitudes.

            Columbia, South Carolina going from 40C records to hitting 85-105 C during July. Ditto Texas.

            Split the difference for summer highs in the 22nd century because most of the thermal impulse is coming over the next 150 years. Boo yah.

            •  Don't worry, James Inhofe doesn't believe a word (6+ / 0-)

              of that stuff, and even if it all comes true, we have Rick Perry to pray it away.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:31:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Do you have a link for the late 3rd millennium (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cskendrick

              stuff?  Most of the projections I've seen stop at 2100.  

              (Which, at Business As Usual levels reaches Fahrenheit increases of 10-20 degrees over the inland U.S. by 2100 are scary enough.)

              © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

              by cai on Wed May 07, 2014 at 12:12:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  IPCC Report 5 takes us a few centuries farther (7+ / 0-)

                with a slope of about 4 degrees C per half century so perhaps a linear 24 degrees C by 2300 and more likely a Fibonacci series type exponential acceleration. There is nowhere on the planet life or ice will survive that.

                It won't be a relocation of 2-3 Billion people over a period of centuries but more likely the death of us all by the end of this century, everything that walks or crawls, swims or flies.

                The oceans and rainforests will be dead, all sources of food will be gone except for maybe some hydroponics labs in some underground bunker somewhere , or whatever aquaculture nuclear subs can rig up.

                The organisms that make oxygen will all be dead so we won't be able to breath except with electrolysis and compressors and tanks.

                All our nuclear plants he so carefully located on coasts will be underwater where maintaining them gets somewhat challenging.

                Resource wars will have turned whatever survivors managed to do the road warriors, waterworld hanging on by their imagination and skills dystopia into some very hungry, very sick individuals.

                Its probably significant that the IPCC doesn't carry it any further forward than 2300, .... and that's the conservative optimistic scientific position.

                "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 01:04:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I tend to go the other way, given finite limits (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rktect, Buckeye Nut Schell

                  that the trend will flatten out not ramp up to Venusian levels.

                  Though that is of course a scenario and at that point, hey, Mars looks nice...less CO2 in the atmosphere...

                  •  I have read theories that suggest... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cskendrick

                    we should pump green house gasses into the Martian atmosphere to create a warming effect to make it eventually inhabitable to some extent.

                    Maybe all of this crap we are doing to our own planet will at least be useful someday when we have to move after once we destroy our own world.

                    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:31:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It will eventually crash (0+ / 0-)

                    only in pure mathematics do exponential curves go to infinity. On the other hand we are going to get to Mars only if the Martians come get us.

                    The problem is the exponential curve is just getting started. If you look at the graph above they show it starting to spike somewhere after 2100, the most likely date for earths next extinction event to bring an end to the Anthropocene.

                    There are some hints that as the tipping points tip they make things worse, but I agree there are limits.

                    The report puts a heavy red line at 2090-2099. I take that as the make or break point where mediation had it begun by 1950 could have tapered off Earth's runaway greenhouse effect with a temperature somewhere around 8 - 9  degrees C in 2300.

                    The line is however very broad at that point and if it follows that methane hydrate releases and melting polar ice caps and the end of civilization as we know it tend to inhibit mediation until the cause of the spike is eliminated, and humans are no longer burning carbon it could continue to rise until 2300.

                    Lets allow that's the range. The Fibonacci curve which is as good as any exponential model at this point wouldn't go up as a straight line, its rate of increase would increase at an increasing rate. 1, 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55

                    Allowing the graph represents what we have already locked into with our actions and lack of them till now, a best case scenario arrives at melted polar ice caps and an extinction event between 2100 and 2300.

                    A worst case is indeed Venus....
                    ...take it in fifty year increments.

                    Between 1950 and 2000 temperatures were observed to have risen 1 degree C since the Industrial revolution .

                    By 2050 a second degree C

                    By 2100 2 more degrees are projected by the graph

                    By 2150 3 more degrees.

                    By 2200 another 5

                    By 2250 13 more

                    By 2300 an additional twenty one more

                    ...after that we really don't have a clue what happens
                    our graph tells us nothing we are left with conjecture and speculation but its likely with people no longer burning carbon the series tapers off.

                    It tapers off rather than stops dead in its tracks and could continue to rise somewhat for millenia

                    Earth's temperature C has at this point risen 54 degrees C to 167 degrees F, not quite enough to boil off the oceans.

                    That's if the process stops dead in its tracks by 2300
                    If we carry on like that to 2350 we'd be there.

                    "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                    by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:52:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I'm puzzled why RPC8.5 not RPC7.5 (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rktect

                  when the increment elsewhere in the chart is 1.5 degrees.

                  3 4.5 6...

                  As a result he jump from 6 to 8.5 is conspicuous.

                  •  The Report numbers aren't tied to degrees (0+ / 0-)

                    but if you go to the report site and spend a few days reading through the data that backs the degrees of confidence what comes across most strongly is the consistency by which the worst case analysis of earlier reports fell short of the actual observed conditions of the next report.

                    Report 3 has a worse case analysis that ends in 2050 because everything gets mediated and solved by then

                    In Report 4.5 things begin to get better by 2100

                    In Report 6 its more like 2150 that the problem abates

                    In Report 8.5 the abatement is much more gradual, starts in 2200 and continues to 2300 without really slowing down all that much, indeed the worst case analysis could still be going strong then. I think it indicates were fucked and they know it.

                    "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                    by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:11:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The assumption that things will go along that long (0+ / 0-)

                      without any mediation (including severe population dieback of humans) is beyond far fetched.

                      You can't have both massive depopulation AND this scenario.

                      •  Yes, exactly, however you can't say that (0+ / 0-)

                        and not be considered radical by the IPCC which is all about consensus building.

                        "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                        by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 01:07:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So, you're not cleaving to this extreme scenario? (0+ / 0-)

                          Because I thought you've been adhering to it all along.

                          My statement just now was one cannot have massive human population dieback per your specific statements and NOT slam on the climate shift brakes.

                          I don't think we're agreeing on this one. :)

                          •  my position (0+ / 0-)

                            Climate change is going to come down on us like a mugging, or cruising along at 30,000 feet and suddenly observing the fasten your seat belts sign flashing along with the oxygen masks dropping and having several minutes to think about your impending demise.

                            Climate change is booked in for several centuries  beyond the present, so once we get shot by our mugger or embraced by the ground following our airline crash, the crime scene or crash site continues to go about its business for another blink of the eye in geologic time and centuries to millenia in human time.

                            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                            by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 02:23:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I get that. And I get that once everyone is dead (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rktect

                            including the pilot/mugger, additive climatological impulses fade rather promptly by definition.

                            I think the worst case scenario is somewhere above the "6" but not the "8.5". That's all I am saying.

                          •  You mean before we are all dead (0+ / 0-)

                            I agree with that, I just think it keeps on rolling out its momentum for a ways while all the tipping points lined up like Dominoes continue to tip.

                            That is what the IPCC chart shows if you look at the worst case projections.

                            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                            by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 03:16:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again, if We're All Dead... (0+ / 0-)

                            Your narrative and your science cannot coexist in the same argument.

                            Accept a less drastic scenario, and keep most of your climate forecast.

                            OR

                            Assert the severe die-off scenario, and you must by inference dial back the climate forecast.

                            You cannot have all of both, only some of both.

                          •  Time for me to show my cards on this (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rktect

                            I have a model scenario, down to the (current) country level, where 90 percent of the biosphere carry capacity of the planet is obliterated over the course of the next seven centuries. (The model can be tweaked to more or less severe/swift scenarios, but this one I'm sticking with.)

                            If 100% is circa AD 2010 biosphere, the model predicts:

                            Roughly 50% collapse by AD 2100.

                            70% collapse by 2200.

                            80% by 2300....and the damage accrues gradually to 90% by the 2700s...and this assumes active mitigation by the human survivors over the ensuing centuries...with much of the soft landing being attributable to the sharp, sudden depletion of human presence on the surface of the Earth.

                            So, what happens to the peeps? Here's the accompanying forecast for total human population

                            2050 (peak peeps) - 7.8 billion
                            2100 -  5.0 billion (yes, you read that right)
                            2150 -  4.1 billion
                            2200 -  3.2 billion
                            2250 -  2.7 billion
                            2300 -  2.2 billion
                            2350 -  2.2 billion (zero growth, yay? only for a while.
                            2400 -  2.2 billion reason: increased fertility to
                            2450 -  1.9 billion compensate for deadlier climate. But
                            2500 -  1.7 billion it's not enough to stop the slide to a
                            2550 -  1.4 billion much lower level.)
                            2600 -  1.3 billion
                            2650 -  1.2 billion
                            2700 -  1.1 billion (Here things stabilize and a planet that
                            2750 -  1.1 billion could have equitably supported 10 billion
                            2800 -  1.1 billion before makes do with much less.)

                            As for how much of that is offworld: Hardly any of it. With Earth's resources 90% wiped out and highly focused on fixing up the joint, space exploration was fine but space colonization never gets going. Offworld population peaks around 1.5 million a LOT sooner than people expect (anyone who can afford to go or is willing to indenture themselves for a ticket and has the technical skills to be of use is leaving by 2100) and then collapses in turn.

                            By 2600 offworld Humanity numbers scarcely more than 100 thousand. In other words, we can't fly away from our dead world; we're not yet good enough to make new living worlds from scratch, only reduce living worlds to scratch.

                            And if we go to the 99% not the 90% scenario, yeah I got that too, the population dieback sends Humanity on a crash that happens 10 times faster and takes us to a population of circa 120 million worldwide by 2310AD... and keeps on collapsing.

                            In that scenario there isn't enough resources and concentration of skills and of population for humanity to keep going at any level of civilization. We disperse into ever smaller bands and die off by about 2700 instead.

                            And the only reason it takes that long is because with 99% of humanity out of the way, only the legacy effects keep hacking at the climate.

                            My takeaway from this effort of a few years back is that

                            1. It takes a 99.5% ecological die-off to wipe out Humanity
                            2. If we do nothing at all, that's coming
                            3. Civilization can survive, with great hardship, a 90% die-off.
                            4. All scenarios in between are protracted declines to successively more primitive end-state situations for ever smaller populations of Humanity in ever more nightmarish future Earths.

                            So it's not that I don't see the nightmare; I've mapped it out to stay-awake-at-nights detail.

                            I would just rather hope we can keep the damage to MERELY 90% or less.

                            Because we're not stopping today, or in my Gen X generation. And if that's too late, well that's too late

                          •  Thats some good thinking there (0+ / 0-)

                            and a lot of work to figure it all out. My numbers are similar maybe a little different in places. I'm not sure how the "make do with much less" part works with resource wars.

                            I think I'd drop population from 8 Billion c 2050 at a starting rate of 10 million extra deaths a year and increase the rate of increase at an increasing rate until 2100 then allow it tapers off to maybe 50 million a year when human populations get down below 6 Billion as follows:

                            2050     8,000,000,000  100,000,000    7,900,000,000
                            2060    7,900,000,000     100,000,000    7,900,000,000
                            2070     7,900,000,000  200,000,000    7,700,000,000
                            2080    7,700,000,000     300,000,000    7,400,000,000
                            2090    7,400,000,000  500,000,000    6,900,000,000
                            2100    6,900,000,000     800,000,000    6,100,000,000

                            2110    6,100,000,000    500,000,000    5,600,000,000
                            2120    5,600,000,000    500,000,000    5,100,000,000
                            2130    5,100,000,000    500,000,000    4,600,000,000
                            2140    4,600,000,000    500,000,000    4,100,000,000
                            2150    4,100,000,000    500,000,000    3,600,000,000

                            2160    3,600,000,000    500,000,000    3,100,000,000
                            2170     3,100,000,000500,000,000    2,600,000,000
                            2180    2,600,000,000    500,000,000    2,100,000,000
                            2190    2,100,000,000    500,000,000    1,600,000,000
                            2200    1,600,000,000    500,000,000    1,100,000,000

                            2210       1,100,000,000  500,000,000    600,000,000
                            2220    600,000,000    500,000,000    100,000,000

                            People would be done for in about 170 years

                            My scenario figures that 90% of modern humans live in cities. 90% of cities are old enough to have been located at river mouths back when rivers and oceans were the highways.

                            Sea level rise is going to begin destroying coastal cities fairly soon (2035-2050) and the disruption is going to take down our economy, distribution networks, stores places of business, manufacturing, military bases, all of it, except maybe a few solar self sufficient rural farms well stocked with tools, wells, generators, fuel, and food supplies.

                            Most people won't be able to drive to stores and buy things like food, because the roads will be flooded. The power will be out, communications will be down.

                            There will be shortages of cheap fossil fuels because our ports will be flooded and our refineries and power stations, water treatment plants sewage treatment plants and nuclear power plants will all be under water.

                            At night it will be dark but for a while some of us will have candles, batteries, wood stoves fireplaces providing heat and light.

                            I'm not sure where most of us get food and water from with the electricity out and the pumps not working because their backup generators have run out of fuels.

                            By 2050 organized government, civilization as we know it will have been drowned in the bathtub that the east Coast has become.

                            You might say yeah sure but all the inland stuff will still function. Once we hit 2 degrees C in 2050 we lose the bacteria that make oxygen, we lose our food animals, our fossil water. Maine has the climate North Carolina has now.

                            California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas Nevada, Utah will be uninhabitable desert. No hint of water for years at a time. The tropics will be uninhabitable desert. The poles will melt but have no soil to grow anything in the oceans will be dead. Anything edible will get picked off quick.

                            East of the Rockies to the Mississippi river will be Great Plains savannah and might support nomadic bands of hunter gatherers, except it won't take long to kill every animal out there. Every buffalo, deer, antelope, cow, horse, jackrabbit, dog, goat, wolf, bear, elk, caribou, bear, hog, and most humans, especially once the fossil water melts the snow pack stops and the great rivers dry up

                            add in all the other stuff I have already mentioned  and
                            I don't see us making it.

                            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                            by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:26:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •   AutoDesk 360 Dashboard (0+ / 0-)

                            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                            by rktect on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:44:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  I'm going with paleohistorical data (0+ / 0-)

                as rktect's remarks illustrate (ranges from years to millennia!) but the paleohistorical thermal equilibrium point for where global average temperatures are expected to be by 2100 is a sea level considerably higher than one meter above current.

                As this chart shows, even we stop climate change cold, today, we'll have much higher sea levels. It's just a question of how soon they show up.

                As for the temperature forecasts, I assumed in our discussion last night that every increase in degree C of average mean year-round temperature produces a 2-2.5 degree increase in extreme temperature event (high end); that may be clumsy but it's what I did. Mileage is likely to vary greatly from place to place based on more factors (starting with wind, cloud cover, terrain, ground cover, urbanization, distance from coastline...) than you can shake a stick at.

                As for the baseline forecasts, I'm definitely of the camp that even the so-called 'alarmist' IPCC is soft-pitching the climatological train wreck.

                If someone were looking to make an immense amount change through social change, there's a LOT of work to do to save the planet it's just a question of how to compel/pay for those efforts. Private enterprise won't. People won't volunteer to the levels required. Legislators will not write laws to conscript that labor.

                Governments could...but won't, regardless of political system. The well-financed libertarian tide has yet to hit its high water mark here in America. At the opposite end, the were-cool-with-free-markets-now-so-long-as-we-get-our-squeeze government in China isn't about to stop turning a once beautiful country into a benzene soaked and lead painted coal ash desert.

                Paraphrasing a line from Firesign Theatre: Everything They Know Is Wrong. It's all wrong. All of it. And it's going to get replaced...it's just a question of how brutal is the sticker price, up to an including extinction of all life on Earth.

                And what's dreadful is it's we are living in an age of intellectual desuetude. While the knowledge (like old laws) exists, it's not being used. And being in disuse, our awareness of it lapses.

                We're not frogs in boiling water. We're frogs that once knew they were being boiled alive, who are becoming pleased with the hot tub someone provided us.

            •  I hope that's not 105 C! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cskendrick

              Above the boiling point?

          •  How many Fukushimas can we absorb? (5+ / 0-)
            We might salvage some parts and move them inland but most of the city infrastructure including its nuke plants is going to be abandoned in place to slip beneath the waves.
            Just in case you glossed over this gem in rktect's comment.

            Utter bleakness. People already alive will ask over and over in the not very distant future, "How did they allow this to happen?"

            Problem is, the people who should be asking this now, aren't.

            "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

            by flitedocnm on Wed May 07, 2014 at 12:58:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Washington D.C. -> Ragin' Rapidz! (14+ / 0-)

    I can't wait to ride the log flume down Pennsylvania Ave.

    In all seriousness, 3-4 meters = say goodbye to New Orleans, as well as a big chunk of Brooklyn (including Red Hook and the eastern part of Williamsburg, you hipsters).

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Tue May 06, 2014 at 03:30:26 PM PDT

  •  Meanwhile - (14+ / 0-)

    Far right parties lead in France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Denmark for the Euro elections.

  •  Few understand just how large is Antartica (30+ / 0-)

    It is approximately equal to the sum of both the U.S. and Mexico, and that includes Alaska, which is by itself equal to about 1/3 the lower 48. Looked at another way, it is about 2x Australia, which is itself about 2x all of Europe (western AND eastern!).

    That's a lot of water folks.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Tue May 06, 2014 at 03:53:32 PM PDT

  •  Welcome to Waterworld (11+ / 0-)

    Waterworld photo waterworld_zps0b7341bf.jpg

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue May 06, 2014 at 03:53:36 PM PDT

    •  fortunately no (11+ / 0-)

      Worst case scenario for long-term sea level rise (all the snow and ice melts) is nowhere close to Waterworld.

      Here's the Lower 48 with a sea level rise of 60 meters or a little less than 200 feet.  Florida, Delaware, most of Louisiana, the entire Eastern Seaboard, the major cities on the West Coast, and California's Central Valley are all underwater but North America is still recognizable.

      We have far, far more to fear from drought and people literally dying of hot - wet bulb temperatures above 90 degrees F for any length of time - than rising oceans.  We'll end up crammed into New England and the Pacific Northwest because points south will be too hot for warm-blooded life.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:04:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sixty meters just takes away our coasts (11+ / 0-)

        back past the regions we consider urban.

        Its the temperatures, that take away the glaciers and snow melt that irrigate our crops, leaving us drought, famine, seasonal catastrophe's relative to the life cycles of pollinators and useful bacteria that make oxygen and serve as the bottom rung of the food chain that creates the fish stocks that keep our oceans and birds alive.

        Plague, pestilence, resource wars, loss of any semblance of organized employment and distribution networks, loss of communications and control, people dying by the billions.

        That's all coming up this century. After that it gets bad.

        "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

        by rktect on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:43:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here in a higher elevation part of Boston... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, LI Mike, Shockwave, worldlotus, rktect

          ... we become beachfront property with a 50m sea level rise.  At 60m, we might be on an island (or we might just be off the edge of the island)...

          •  There are sea level maps for Boston (0+ / 0-)

            Showing what even a couple of feet of sea level rise will do. Keep in mind most of Boston and Cambridge rests on filled land and the ground under the Prudential Center has to be constantly pumped as things stand now

            If you are someplace like Beacon Hill or Bunker Hill in Charlestown or perhaps High Street Hill or Mission Hill in Brookline you will be able to see Boston Harbor expand all along what they called the big dig, from Leachmere and Cambridge across Somerville and Charelstown, on past the North End and on down into the Haymarket, continuing through the business district and Chinatown, through South Boston and Dorchester all the way to Lower Roxbury.

            By the time the flooding reaches one meter everything across Route 93 to Adams street in Quincy will be flooded.

            At 6 meters Malden, Medford, and Belmont will be flooded in the North, East Boston and Logan Airport will be gone along with Chelsea, some hills in Winthrop and Everett may remain, Harvard will still be there but MIT will be gone as will Allston and the Charles river will be a bit wider as far up as Watertown.

            At 13 meters the flooding reaches Newton and Waltham where Boston is ringed by route 95 and route 3 A is gone as far south as Scituate where First Cliff and Second Cliff have become tiny offshore islands.

            At 60 meters Chestnut Hill and Old Norumbega are islands and pretty much everything inside 495 is either flooded or an island or peninsula.

            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

            by rktect on Wed May 07, 2014 at 12:43:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The oceans are already dying. (0+ / 0-)

          There will be countless numbers of rapidly accelerating feedback loops that will wipe out all of the ecological balance that sustains life on this planet.

          At least higher life. We can take comfort in the likelihood that insects and bacteria will evolve and adapt. Hey, in a few million years, maybe the new humanoids will find traces of Beethoven.

          "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

          by flitedocnm on Wed May 07, 2014 at 01:21:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, humanoids blew their chance (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfromga, Visceral, flitedocnm

            They are going to take their place with the dinosaurs, alligator-sized millipedes, ammonites, and other species that thrived in a certain time and place only to have it eventually change into one that's unendurable. The only difference is that this "intelligent" species engineered the mass extinction of itself.
            Funny how humans were always afraid that some weapon they invented would destroy them. And in fact all it took was a little extra C02 in the air.
            I doubt the next "dominant species" will be as brain-heavy as we are, since obviously "intelligence" doesn't give a species an advantage for survival.

            Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

            by fourthcornerman on Wed May 07, 2014 at 02:37:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Floods the city I grew up in (0+ / 0-)

          (Augusta, GA.) Covers my high school.  Turns the pond I biked around int a marshy area of beach.

          I'll be safe where I live now in Athens, but that's still pretty horrifying.

          The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

          by catwho on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:17:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. That's astonishing, and horrifying. (6+ / 0-)

        Drought and crop collapse. Quite a one-two.
        Truth is, though, there's really no safe place.

        Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:59:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We will move inland (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Choco8, LI Mike, Shockwave

        To diametrically oppose Dorothy, it will be Kansas evermore.

        Help.

      •  That 60-meter map has serious inaccuracies. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, LI Mike, Shockwave, StrayCat

        Looking at the area I know best (my land) I see a square-kilometer block shown as inundated that I know for a fact is in the 500-750 meter elevation range.

        On the other hand, back at the farm a 20 meter rise makes me oceanfront, as I already knew, although the top of the land (four meters higher) is shown as underwater while the bottom is exposed.

        In other words, take this map as only the very roughest of approximations! The algorithm used to create it, and/or the underlying data, is faulty.

  •  Antarctic Vast Canyons Under Ice, Below Sea Level (13+ / 0-)

    After millions of years of being compressed by the weight of miles of ice, much of the bedrock under the Antarctic has formed canyons thousands of feet deep and covering thousands of square miles.  This was only discovered in the last few years from satellite data, so scientists went to work looking for the connections to the sea...

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Tue May 06, 2014 at 03:53:56 PM PDT

  •  So I don't need to build a swimming pool. 'Kay nt (4+ / 0-)

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:06:58 PM PDT

  •  Not to be a downer but (9+ / 0-)

    We are so fucked......

    'snakes as you know have a mortal fear of.........tile'

    by OneCharmingBastard on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:19:52 PM PDT

  •  I'm skeptical of most Geo Engineering (4+ / 0-)

    And while it might "buy" only another century or two the Mother of All Artificial Ice Dams might be worth discussing here.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:23:54 PM PDT

  •  So I won't have waterfront property (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, rktect, PrahaPartizan

    any time soon?  Damn.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:46:26 PM PDT

    •  I live on a mid coastal mountain in Maine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, PrahaPartizan

      I'll eventually have ocean front property along my Rockport border with Union between Hope and Warren. I doubt I'll live long enough to see it but my kids or grandkids may.

      "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

      by rktect on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:48:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live on a hill in CT (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dartagnan, Lily O Lady, PrahaPartizan

        about 400 ft above sea level.  I think I'll be safe but I was really looking forward to have a water view from my window.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:00:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plateau in CT (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rktect

          We live on a plateau about 310 feet above current sea level with a major ridge line between us and the Connecticut River valley about ten miles away.  It will certainly be interesting for whoever comes after to watch much of that entire area up to the Springfield area gradually flood.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:55:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sprinfield MA floods north up to Greenfield (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PrahaPartizan

            So I suppose the flooding eventually cuts both MA and CT in two north south and takes the state of Delaware.

            Ma also loses the cape and floods inland as far as Framingham. RI just loses its western coast up to Kingston.

            New Hampshire floods from Nashua to Rochester inland as far as Manchester and Maine floods inland to rte 95 as far north as Skowhegan and above Bangor to Lincoln.

            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

            by rktect on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:06:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  At 6 m Connecticut is split in two thru Hartford (0+ / 0-)

          Here's the map of flooding

          Eventually the flooding reaches 60 meters

          Aside from the valley headed up to Hartford mostly Connecticut just looses its urban areas and its coast inland all the way across the state from Greenwich thru  Trunbull to Wallingfors along Rte 15 and from Wallingford and from North Branford to Deep river along Route 80, from Norwich east along Route 2 and along 395 up to Danielson.

          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

          by rktect on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:59:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Edgar Cayce predicted that New York City would be (7+ / 0-)

    underwater. Of course, he got the timing wrong. It does seem that catastrophic changes are going to happen.

    Oh, dear me...so glad I'm old. My grandchildren will suffer, though.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:53:03 PM PDT

  •  What we need is legislation prohibiting (8+ / 0-)

    the recognition or acknowledgment of studies like this.
    /snark

    Our government is not yet small enough to drown in a bathtub. That doesn't mean it can't be waterboarded.

    by furrfu on Tue May 06, 2014 at 04:57:35 PM PDT

  •  Put a fork in us, we're done. Seriously. I (4+ / 0-)

    believe we have destroyed our environment and it's only a matter of time, and not much of that, before all of us suffer from this destruction.

    I pray for some miraculous invention that will reverse these trends faster than they get us all killed, but I'm not optimistic.  At all.

    Peace.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:46:46 PM PDT

  •  just in case you were wondering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, boji, LI Mike

    the zoom is a little slow, but very precise:
    http://flood.firetree.net/
    and just to give you an view of what this means:
    http://flood.firetree.net/...

  •  sorry, the links don't do what I wanted (0+ / 0-)

    but it kooks like you can zoom from either one, so it's good enough.

  •  Small loss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Angie in WA State
    enough to submerge the building that houses Fox News in Manhattan

    I ♥ rock crushers.

    by fly on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:10:35 PM PDT

  •  You used meters, not feet or yards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    They will not understand.

  •  The place where I live has been under a glacier, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    under glacial Lake Passaic and covered with lava.  In the grand scheme of things, it's very silly to believe that we have any great say over the grand march of time, weather and geology.

    We adapt or we die.  That's how it goes.

    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

    by SpamNunn on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:42:44 PM PDT

    •  We do have an effect because what you are referrin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga

      to is over millions of years and we have only been using industrial for 200 years. Over millions of years things have time to adapt over a couple generations its much tougher.

      I don't think we are as doomed as some say. We are a clever species and will survive but the world will be a very different place with lots of chaos before things settle down.

      Maybe we can figure out a way to use water to do something that will help thus lowering levels while solving the problem.

      Everything seems impossible until you figure out how to do it and i'm sure humanity will survive, but we will lose a lot of history and 'assets' to the sea.

      Maybe the lizard people are causing it because they like warm and wet and are preparing the invasion of their new home :p

      Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

      by fToRrEeEsSt on Wed May 07, 2014 at 03:51:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, not quite (0+ / 0-)

        Humans had to adapt pretty fast at the end of the last ice age, when the mammoths disappeared.

        We primarily adapted by migrating in the past.  We may not have that option this time around.

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:20:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well we were nomadic then not living (0+ / 0-)

          in cities of millions. We migrated because that's what we did and there was always more food around the next bend. Most of us are not nomadic and need stores for food, and that just the obvious initial issue.

          We will survive as a species its how our civilization survives that really the question.

          How do you move 1 billion people and where do you move them? A billion in a short time is unlikely, but not beyond possibility. Even just one city, where do you move the greater L.A. area? Can't jut move the city inland to the desert

          Its gonna be messy but how messy kind of depends if we get the world power/wealth to acquire empathy, sanity, or we just boot them all together.

          Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

          by fToRrEeEsSt on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:34:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Poetic justice in NYC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LI Mike

    There are very few areas of New York City that consistently vote Republican. But South Brooklyn, South Staten Island, the western part of the Rockaway Peninsula, and parts of Throgs Neck in the Bronx do. And they will be the first parts of the city underwater when the sea level rises.

    I'm on high ground in the Bronx.

  •  Waiting on the religious to call this Noah's flood (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boji, LI Mike, worldlotus, StrayCat

    The Sequel and tell us this has nothing to do with global warming, everything to do with 'God's Vengeance' or somtehing.

    Really.   Seriously.   I can just imagine real estate values in Hawaii, Florida, California and all the coasts taking a beating.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:52:20 PM PDT

    •  God said he'd never do that again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga

      I think that's a major source of global warning denialism from the Christian right.  The world can't be flooded again.  God promised!  He said so in the Bible!

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:21:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There have been extinctions before but they (6+ / 0-)

    took hundreds or thousands of years but the speed of this extinction is measured in decades.

  •  One child per family... for three generations (4+ / 0-)

    Get the world population down to two billion and we might be able to save civilization.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:06:29 PM PDT

  •  My house on eastern LI disappears. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    Well, looks like just about all of Long Island goes. No more traffic jams on the Long Island Expressway. That's one way to cut the carbon footprint, albeit, a little late.

  •  Nothing will be done about it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, Dartagnan

    Oh there will be conversations and the left will continue to seek modest change while the right will continue to obfuscate but here is the real sadness.

    Nobody in our government wants to do anything substantial, because none of this is going to happen under their watch, if the oceans rose 3 meters tomorrow morning there would be movement, but tell them 100 years and every man jack in congress will look at their watch and tell you they are late for afternoon martinis.

    We have a government that is only moved by gravestones, significant movement happens pretty much only after people are dead.....at that point it will be way too late.

    Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

    by fauxrs on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:30:02 PM PDT

  •  Cuba is looking better to Florida every day. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Do millionaires worry? not where I live (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, dance you monster, Dartagnan

    http://www.luxurybchomes.com/...

    Experience the unsurpassed quality and elegance of a luxury waterfront home in Victoria, British Columbia. This west coast island gem is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island where rugged natural beauty and a vibrant cultural lifestyle come together in perfect harmony.
  •  enough to submerge ... Fox News (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, jfromga

    "Not the ill wind which blows no man to good."
    -Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part II

    "You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You're dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!" - Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

    by rambler american on Wed May 07, 2014 at 03:59:30 AM PDT

  •  The 3-4 M in your title is misleading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan

    and missing a 'zero'.
    Everything in the text paints a picture more like WATERWORLD>
    Maybe 3-4 M by century's end. But much much more to follow.

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