|2011-04-07 09:12:29||Impacts of Sea Level Rise|
I am collecting here some of the most plausible and likely impacts of sea level rise.
I am quite happy for anyone else to write the article - I am busy with a backlog of articles due to my recent illness, so time is a problem. I will of course contribute as much as I can.
In response to a comment by John, I wrote this:
Impacts of Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise can lead to increased loss of, not just land-based ice, but land as a material. These effects are positive feedbacks to further sea level rise.
A study by Mikhail Anisimov and Vladimir Tumskoy of the New Siberian Islands shows how past variations in sea level have altered both the regional climate and the geography.
"During the warming periods of the end of the Late Pleistocene (Raunis, Bolling and Allerod climatic stages) the area of the New Siberian Islands still presented one continental land, which is indicated by dating of the mammoth tusk from Bennetta Island (12.5 kyr BP).
"The available data on the Novosibirskie Islands indicate synchronous climatic changes in the territory of the eastern Arctic shelf. These changes were of a complicated rhythmic character determined not only by temperature fluctuations, but also by climate changing from continental to marine due to sea transgression."
ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY OF THE NOVOSIBIRSKIE ISLANDS FOR THE LAST 12 KA
Arctic communities are already being impacted by permafrost melt. Sea level rise exacerbates the problem. There is a wealth of data on this impact:
"COPENHAGEN, Dec 13 , 2009 (IPS) - The Inuit people who live in and around the Arctic are among the worst victims of global warming, and scientists are now turning to their experience and indigenous knowledge to understand the staggering effects of climate change."
"A decrease in sea ice had increased the fetch of wind and wave size, making travel in small boats more dangerous, affecting the hunting of other marine mammals.
Kivalina's sand and gravel island is held together by beach grass, and at one time, permanently frozen ground. Sea ice used to form sooner and protect against winter storms but a longer ice-free season has meant acres lost to erosion."
"Thawing permafrost in the Arctic has damaged houses, roads, airports and pipelines, and caused landscape erosion, slope instability, and landslides. Local coastal losses to erosion of up to 100 feet per year have been observed in some locations in the Siberian, Alaskan and Canadian Arctic.
"There is evidence for a series of adverse impacts on polar coasts, although warmer conditions in high latitudes can have positive effects, such as longer tourist seasons and improved navigability (see Chapter 15, Section 22.214.171.124). Traditional knowledge also points to widespread coastal change across the North American Arctic from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska in the west to Nunavut in the east (Fox, 2003). Reduced sea-ice cover means a greater potential for wave generation where the coast is exposed (Johannessen et al., 2002; Forbes, 2005; Kont et al., 2007). Moreover, relative sea-level rise on low-relief, easily eroded, shores leads to rapid retreat, accentuated by melting of permafrost that binds coastal sediments, warmer ground temperatures, enhanced thaw, and subsidence associated with the melting of massive ground ice, as recorded at sites in Arctic Canada (Forbes et al., 2004b; Manson et al., 2006), northern USA (Smith, 2002b; Lestak et al., 2004) and northern Russia (Koreysha et al., 2002; Nikiforov et al., 2003; Ogorodov, 2003). Mid-latitude coasts with seasonal sea ice may also respond to reduced ice cover; ice extent has diminished over recent decades in the Bering and Baltic Seas (ARAG, 1999; Jevrejeva et al., 2004) and possibly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Forbes et al., 2002)."
IPCC AR4 WGII Chapter 6: 6.2.5 Observed effects of climate change on coastal systems
"NSIDC bombshell: Thawing permafrost feedback will turn Arctic from carbon sink to source in the 2020s, releasing 100 billion tons of carbon by 2100
Most of my research in this area has been Arctic-focused. I will try to find data of wider applicability.