2011-03-17 07:00:43Sea level rise: coming to a port near you
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

A follow-up to Dr. Weiss' guest post, castles of sand:


Sea level rise: coming to a port near you

Posted on 18 March 2011 by Daniel Bailey

It has been said that our coastal cities are but castles made of sand.  And like sand, they will fall into the sea, eventually.  No one can tell the day or the hour, but with the expected rise of sea levels from the warming of the world and the measured melt of its polar regions, we know that it will happen.

Projections

Figure 1 (Vermeer & Rahmstorf 2009).  Current projections call for 1 or more meters of sea level rise by 2100

Currently we're on track to reach 1 meter sometime between 2070 and 2090 in business as usual (the A scenarios), and even most likely by 2100 in Scenario B1 (which assumes a major move away from fossil fuels toward alternative and renewable energy as the century progresses).

A wise man once asked: 

"How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man? 
How many years must a mountain exist before it's washed to the sea?   
How many times can a man turn his head pretending he just doesn't see? 
How many deaths will it take till he knows too many people have died? 
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind..."

The effects of sea level rise, like the meaning of the song above, is different to each of us.  So what will sea level rise look like where you live, when it does come?  Using the map visualization tools provided from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, we can figure that out.  Let's take a look, shall we?

America the Soggy

Portions of the United States stand to be hard-hit by sea level rise.  None will be more impacted than New Orleans, Louisiana and Miami, Florida.  Note that the areas in red delineate those inundated by the first meter of sea level rise, those in tan (sorry, didn't pick the colors) by an additional 5-meter rise in sea levels above and beyond the first meter of rise (for a total of 6 meters of rise).

Big Easy

Map 1.  New Orleans This time, the story's over.

Miami

Map 2.  Miami and south Florida.  Our memories of South Beach will only come from reruns of Miami Vice.

Moving up the Atlantic coast, other impacted areas include:  Savannah - Charleston, Cape Hatteras, Washington DC (see below for the close-up of the Nation's Capital), Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

DC

Map 3.  Washington DC (closeup).  Yes, we did (it).

A look at the rest of the US:  San Francisco, Honolulu, and Prudhoe Bay of Alaska

Water World

Netherlands

Map 4.  One meter of sea level rise wipes out the International Court at The Hague; 6 meters, most of the Netherlands.

Australia:  Brisbane, Sydney

Bangladesh

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro

China: Beijing, Shanghai

Denmark:  Copenhagen

Egypt:  Cairo

England:  Liverpool, London

Ireland:  Dublin

Italy:  Pisa, Venice, downtown Venice

Japan: Tokyo, downtown Tokyo

Maldives

Netherlands

New Zealand:  Christchurch

Orinoco River Delta

Singapore

Maldives

Map 5.  The poster child for sea level rise, the Maldives was once a vast island during the last glacial maximum, when sea levels were at their lowest ebb.  Reduced now to but a string of island dots on a map, the Maldives will soon cease to be anything but a distant memory for our descendants.  And a lasting testament to the willful folly of mankind.

We live now, in the present.  Here in the present, sea level rise of the magnitudes portrayed above have yet to come to pass.  But they will, eventually.  Perhaps not in our lives but in that of those that yet live, or have yet to be.  But come, it will.

And how many nations will cease to be before mankind acts?  How many cities inundated?  How many lives lost?  The answer, my friends, is blowin' in the wind...

2011-03-17 07:37:15I just read a paper on how to make climate change real for people
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.101.78
It says people assess risks in two ways - visceral and analytical. But the most effective way is visceral - analytical is often too remote and theoretical to provoke immediate action. This article provokes a visceral response, seeing how your own city is affected.

can I suggest two things? First, before the first pic, make it clear what they're looking at which I presume is red represents 1 metre SLR and yellow 6 meters SLR. Secondly, on the visceral front, mention we expert to see SLR of 1 metre tris century. Eg - withinthelifetime of out children and grandchildren.

If iDo any talks here in Brisbane, I'm definitely using the Brisbane SLR map.

2011-03-17 08:10:50beat me
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I was going to say the same as John - you need to define the red and yellow up front.  Had me worried for a minute (near Sacramento, on the San Francisco map) until I saw the yellow is 6 meters.  Then as John says, it would be good to add some sea level rise projections.  Not the IPCC's of course.  Figure 6 in Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009) is good.  Romm already has it as a jpeg:

sea level pnas

 

You can then note that we're on pace to reach 1 meter sometime between 2070 and 2090 in business as usual (the A scenarios), and even most likely by 2100 in Scenario B1, which assumes a major move away from fossil fuels toward alternative and renewable energy as the century progresses.

2011-03-17 08:48:58
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Updated per above; thanks!

2011-03-17 08:50:10Thumbs up from me
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.101.78

Great follow-up - I'm thinking we post this today while yesterday's post is still fresh in our minds

2011-03-17 08:58:15
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

By your command...  ;)

2011-03-17 09:10:20
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.208.99

Thumby.

2011-03-17 09:16:03Figure numbers
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Now that you added the sea level rise plot as Figure 1, you need to update the other figure numbers.  Otherwise it looks good (though there's a bit of funky formatting in some of the text, but John can take care of that when he posts it).

2011-03-17 09:19:37
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Changed them to Map 1, Map 2 in the post, forgot to update that above.  Sorry.

Think I fixed the formatting.

2011-03-17 10:43:15By your command...
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.101.78

No, that kind of response should be directed towards the cyborg :-)

2011-03-17 10:51:41
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Ah, you caught that one, did you?

http://datacore.sciflicks.com/battlestar_galactica/sounds/battlestar_galactica_by_your_command.wav

 

2011-03-17 11:03:23The SkS geek subculture steadily developing
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.101.78

You people do realise this will all come out when skeptics hack this forum, don't you? I'm seeing a "hide the geek" scandal in the making...

2011-03-17 11:31:46
jlweiss

jlweiss@email.arizona...
128.196.236.178

The link to the 'map visualization tools' at the beginning needs to be fixed - needs to drop the "<span style=" at the end of the URL.

2011-03-17 11:36:58Done; anything else?
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Fixed, thanks!

2011-03-17 12:53:45Do you mind if I postpone this till tomorrow?
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.101.78

As the Huff Post just published my 'vulnerable countries' post, I'd like to post that blog post today while the iron is hot.

That means moving you to Friday.

Then Dana and James get shuffled back a little - perhaps Dana late Friday and James early Saturday. Are we all okay with that?

2011-03-17 13:22:28
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

A-Ok with me!

2011-03-17 13:44:18Ok
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.233
Sure, that's fine.
2011-03-17 18:02:03
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.158.190

Friday morning, Friday evening, or Saturday evening would work for me, but not Saturday morning.

2011-03-17 18:19:30Going live with your post
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.101.78

James, how about you go live with your post any time Saturday that suits you. Make sure you send it to the mailing list after you set it to Published.

2011-03-17 18:39:16Okay
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.158.190

Okay