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#36963 - 01/03/11 05:02 PM Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet).
preearth Offline
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Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 370

This thread was motivated by the following comment of kallog;

Originally Posted By: kallog
If these are the important issues (of global warming), then it would be helpful for those scientists and others who get in the media to actually mention them. The best I usually hear is "rising sea levels", "poor Bangladesh", and "poor cute polar bears" but those are relatively trivial problems.

So,... you think rising sea levels are a trivial problem?

Let's calculate the sea-level rise due to the Antarctic ice sheet melting.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctica we gleam the following facts;

Area of ice-covered Antarctica = 13,720,000 sq km (5,300,000 sq mi)

Average depth of ice = 1.6 km (1.0 mi)

This implies a volume of ice = 13,720,000 * 1.6 = 21,952,000 km3

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean we have;

The area covered by the ocean = 361,000,000 km2

Thus if the Antarctic ice sheet were to melt the sea-level would rise by

21952000/361000000 = 0.06081 km = 60.81 meters.

To perform an accurate calculation one needs to take into account that the density of ice is less than that of water, that the land below the icecaps will rise (isostatic rebound), that sea water will replace some of the grounded ice, that the surface area of ocean will increase and that the ocean will expand as temperatures increase.

Since I don't know how to do these things, I defer to the following source,

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/

where the U.S. Geological Survey people claim that;

the Greenland ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 6.55 meters (21.5 feet),

the West Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 8.06 meters (26.4 feet),

the East Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 64.8 meters (212.6 feet),

and all other ice melting will raise sea-level 0.91 meters (3 feet).

For a grand total of 80.32 meters (263.5 feet).

The U.S. Geological Survey people also claim that a 10-meter rise in sea level would flood approximately 25 percent of the United State's population. That is a 10-meter rise.

An 80 meter rise in sea-level will flood almost all of the world's coastal cities (you know, towns like London, Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and even places further from the coast like Paris and Bucharest) and it would flood a fair chunk of the best arable land on the planet.

But, don't worry,... be happy.

The good news is that it will take a long time for the ice sheets to melt, but when they do, that land you have in London, or Manhattan, or Paris, isn't going to be worth a dime.

It will take many decades for an ice sheet the size of the Antarctic ice sheet, to melt. How long, will, of course, depend on the temperature rise. But remember, there was a much larger ice sheet over the US and Canada only some 10,000 years ago and it disappeared, in geological terms, very rapidly. Does anyone know any facts and figures for this?

Now, the melt of the Greenland ice-sheet is progressing nicely and will bring a 6.5 meter (21 feet) practise rise in sea-level. It is not yet clear whether the Antarctic ice sheet has begun an irreversible melt. It seems that it has not, but the jury is still out.

Maybe I should mention that, many years ago, after calculating the expansion of the oceans due to a one degree change in temperature, I claimed that sea-level rise would not be a problem. Hearing this, some kind person informed me that I was wrong and provided me with (something like) the above reply.

Maybe I should also mention, that I am quite impressed at the way the professional internet liars have kept such simple knowledge, as the above, from reaching the public.

Changing the topic a little, here is a graphic showing carbon dioxide concentration (ppm) versus temperature (centigrade) over the last 420,000 years.



Hmmm, there certainly seems to be a correlation. What do you think?

But, don't worry,... be happy.
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#36976 - 01/03/11 07:23 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
preearth Offline
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Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 370
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#37198 - 01/23/11 05:09 AM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Oh hi. Kallog looks a lot like me!


I'm not disputing those things you presented, but they entirely miss my point. You've ignored the end effect on people, which is what actually matters. That's what people should be debating instead of whittling the entire issue down to an excuse to promote the puritan idea of "It's sinful to enjoy a comfortable life".

What I'm disputing is the implied seriousness of rising sea levels. It sounds scary to say "Paris will be flooded!" But so what? Will 10 million Parisians drown? Of course not. Will all our investment in cities be lost? Not really. Why? Because it'll happen slowly, giving us time to let the current infrastructure run to the end of its useful life and replacing it further uphill. Will millions of Parisians be made homeless? No. They'll have plenty of time to move elsewhere - at some cost, just as most of our predecessors have done in the past 100 years. Do you still live in the house you inherited off your great grandparents?

How many buildings that existed 100 years ago are still in use today? Hardly any of them. We destroyed them because we didn't want them anymore.

How much of our current city infrastructure will still be in use in 100 years, even without rising sea levels? Hardly any of it. Most buildings aren't intended to last that long. We won't want to keep them, we'll want something better instead. That something better can be put in a slightly safer location.

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#37216 - 01/23/11 09:26 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: kallog]
preearth Offline
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Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 370

I truly wonder about your ability to think logically.

For example, let's take a closer look at you claim:

Will millions of Parisians be made homeless? No.

If the climate is left to warm, even the most stupid Parisian will eventually realize that there is no stopping, one, or other, ice-sheet melting, and consequently, that there is no stopping their land and home from eventually disappearing beneath the ocean. Maybe not for another 50 or 100 years, but the ice sheet will inexorably keep melting and sea-levels keep rising.

How much, will our Parisian's land be worth?

How much, will their land be worth, when everyone one knows it will be worth zero in 50 or 100 years?

Maybe our Parisian will be able to net 10% of its value, if it had been located higher?

And how will he buy a new home with this,... so he will be left homeless, unless he is otherwise rich.

And worse, many billions of people will be bidding for the land that will not be flooded.

This will force the cost of land, and housing, that will not be flooded, sky-high.

So now, our Parisians old home, will not even cover the deposit on a new home.

So how is it, exactly, that Parisians will not be made homeless, when it appears that the great majority will be left homeless?
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#37218 - 01/23/11 10:17 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Hello Preearth. Please don't use insults like "...your ability to think logically".

100 years ago the population of the world was about 2 billion. Now it's about 6 billion. Rather than losing land, we gained people, but the effect is the same - 2/3 of the world's population have effectively been made 'homeless'.

As a result, many of them have had to spend a lot of their life working to buy a new house. As you know, it's very common for people to buy their own house rather than inherit it from their parents. However bad this is, it actually happens, and we manage fine.

Keep in mind that this is mostly an intergenerational thing. Most or all current Paris property owners will be dead before their land is flooded.

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#37219 - 01/23/11 10:17 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Hello Preearth. Please don't use insults like "...your ability to think logically".

100 years ago the population of the world was about 2 billion. Now it's about 6 billion. Rather than losing land, we gained people, but the effect is the same - 2/3 of the world's population have effectively been made 'homeless'.

As a result, many of them have had to spend a lot of their life working to buy a new house. As you know, it's very common for people to buy their own house rather than inherit it from their parents. However bad this is, it actually happens, and we manage fine.

Keep in mind that this is mostly an intergenerational thing. Most or all current Paris property owners will be dead before their land is flooded.

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#37221 - 01/23/11 10:45 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: kallog]
preearth Offline
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Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 370
Originally Posted By: kallog
100 years ago the population of the world was about 2 billion. Now it's about 6 billion. Rather than losing land, we gained people, but the effect is the same - 2/3 of the world's population have effectively been made 'homeless'.

I truly wonder about your ability to think logically.

This population growth will most likely continue AND at the same time, the most habitable land will be disappearing.

There will be billions of new population AND at the same time, there will be billions of people from low lying areas,... ALL looking for new accommodation.

It is true, that the problem with past population growth was (marginally) handled by the development of megacities.

But, you use this fact, to claim that the housing problem that will be caused by the destruction of many of these megacities AND the usual population growth, together, will be minimal.

That is truly an example of faulty logic.

You do see how stupid that implication is,... don't you?

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#37222 - 01/24/11 08:17 AM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Originally Posted By: preearth

This population growth will most likely continue AND

The problems caused by the population growth we already saw were acceptable enough. Who says we can't double it in the next 100 years? That'll be a slower growth rate than we've seen, and less costly to the average individual. Sure there might be problems of food, energy, water, etc. But that's not rising sea levels, and will happen regardless. However, the population will plateau at some stage, quite possibly during this century.

Quote:

at the same time, the most habitable land will be disappearing.

Sure it'll be disappearing. But it's mostly only desirable because it's near the coast. If the coast moves then places that are now undesirable will become more desirable because they'll have easy access to the sea. Look at the endless sprawling underdeveloped wastes of space like Ohio, etc.

Quote:

problem that will be caused by the destruction of many of these megacities AND the usual population growth,

What destruction? We're destroying our cities all the time. Look at the buildings around you. How old are most of them? 100 years? Unless you live in central London, that's very unlikely. Do you ever notice old buildings being demolished? How often to roads have to be resurfaced? Sewer pipes dug up and replaced? You're viewing large cities are static and irreplaceable. But they're mostly continuously being renewed.

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#37224 - 01/24/11 03:57 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: kallog]
preearth Offline
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Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 370
Originally Posted By: kallog
What destruction? We're destroying our cities all the time.


You are quite mad.

kallog said: "What destruction?"

The destruction of the land we build cities on (by it being submerged).

kallog said: "We're destroying our cities all the time."

So what? The point is that presently we are NOT destroying the land our cities are built on (only reusing it).

Somehow, you aren't able to differentiate between these two obviously very different situations.
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#37230 - 01/25/11 08:42 AM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Originally Posted By: preearth

You are quite mad.

I already asked you to please not insult me. If you can't explain yourself then just don't reply.

Quote:

Somehow, you aren't able to differentiate between these two obviously very different situations.


The difference is one requires buying new land. That new land will be (initially) cheap because it's currently not part of cities. Sure individual landowners will lose out, but so what? It's not that bad, because we've seen it happening already with the population growth and how most of the world's population has had to effectively buy new land because their families were too big to all live together generation after generation.

I think you're stuck in a mindset that the locations of cities are somehow special and fundamentally necessary. They're not, they're just accidents of history that typically started by being near the sea and got perpetuated by people wanting to be near other people. The new locations of cities will be just the same. You can look at is as adding much more value to land which is currently underutilized.

If you don't believe there's tons of spare empty land just waiting to be built on, go have a look at Google earth. That's how I found the underdeveloped place called Ohio.

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#37246 - 01/27/11 11:06 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: kallog]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Kallog- I live in a very, apparently, underdeveloped country, but certainly away from the coast development would be difficult and expensive. I an interested in the concept of 'tons of empty land' as I had assumed that land that was uninhabited by humans is in fact usually fairly usefully employed.

There is virtually no land that waits to be discovered anymore. Land which is in pristine state today is usually part of a managed wilderness of some sort, and is valuable for we humans as a future resource or a carbon sink. Likewise the land which is lightly populated is in fact farm land or land that is productive in some other way. It may be empty but it not unused.

The growth of cities expanding into arable land is already a problem. We still do need land to grow our food on. And where do you get the idea that land will ever be cheap to buy? Land will sell for whatever a person is prepared to pay for it, and in a time of disastrous sea levels rising that will be a lot.

We already build our cities in areas where we should not. I'm sure we will continue to do so, and like the people of Venice, and now Brisbane, we will watch the floods rise around us before it dawns on us we are in a spot of bother.

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#37248 - 01/28/11 07:17 AM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: Ellis]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Originally Posted By: Ellis
assumed that land that was uninhabited by humans is in fact usually fairly usefully employed.

I didn't say uninhabited. Look at the example of Ohio that I gave. It seems the major cities there are full of sprawling low-rise buildings. Places like that could easily support much higher population densities, by building up instead of out.


Quote:

There is virtually no land that waits to be discovered anymore. Land which is in pristine state today is usually

You read too much into my words. I Didn't claim that.

Quote:

Venice, and now Brisbane, we will watch the floods rise around us before it dawns on us we are in a spot of bother.

Quite possibly. But now that we apparently know it's going to happen, it'll be too bad for property profiteers who didn't think ahead. Remember it'll mostly affect future generations - people who haven't yet made the decision to buy such at-risk land.


People should take a step back and look at the big picture. Suppose 1/4 of the world's dry land gets flooded and also the population doubles. That means the average population density increases to 8/3 of what it was over say 100 years.

If we have population doubling without land loss, it increases to 6/3 what it was.

Over the past 100 years it has increased to 9/3 what it was.

So yea it's not good news, but it's relatively minor compared to what's already happened, and compared to what would happen anyway.

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#37536 - 02/24/11 05:26 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: kallog]
preearth Offline
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Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 370

One example of kallog's perverse "logic."

"Over the past 100 years it has increased to 9/3 what it was."

So we don't have to worry about the loss of land due to sea-level rise,... because we handled similar things in the past.


This is just stupid "logic." Here is a different example of this moronic "logic."

In 2006, 21 students from a Kuala Lampur college stuffed themselves into a 1999 lime green MINI Cooper (a tiny British car).

By kallog's "logic," we should feel comfortable that at least 42 students should fit into a 1999 mini Cooper, in the future.

They got 21 students into a mini Cooper in the past,....

And the fact that they could do this in the past, absolutely proves (By kallog's perverse "logic") that in the future it must be possible to fit significantly more students into a 1999 mini Cooper.
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#37541 - 02/24/11 10:23 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
Bill Offline
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Registered: 12/30/10
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Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Ok, just my 2 cents worth. Technically it would be quite possible to move all the people who live in areas that will be flooded by rising seas. It wouldn't be easy, but it could certainly be done. Then comes the big problem. The problem that makes relocating all those people, and getting agriculture readjusted to the new climates look like a piece of cake.

The HUGE problem is political. For example: Bangladesh. Bangladesh has a very large population for its area. And it is very low lying. So we would have to find an area where we could move all those people, and getting other countries to accept those people and let them have land inside their boundaries. I don't think it would be at all easy to get any country or countries to give up their land to a different nation.

Bill Gill
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#37545 - 02/24/11 11:09 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: preearth]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Originally Posted By: preearth

In 2006, 21 students from a Kuala Lampur college stuffed themselves into a 1999 lime green MINI Cooper (a tiny British car).

By kallog's "logic," we should feel comfortable that at least 42 students should fit into a 1999 mini Cooper, in the future.


It's not comparible. In the past 100 years we didn't "stuff the maximum number of people we could" into the world. We're not yet at the limit of capacity.

You also ignored my other, more significant comparison about what would happen in the next 100 years without global warming. If we can't cope with losing land. How can we cope with a population doubling?

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#37546 - 02/24/11 11:18 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: Bill]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Originally Posted By: Bill
The HUGE problem is political.

countries to accept those people and let them have land inside their boundaries. I don't think it would be at all easy to get any country or countries to give up their land to a different nation.


Hehe I totally agree. No matter how "moral" most activists claim to be, they typically stop short of the most effective means of helping many people, which is immigration.

"Ooh lets save those poor flooded people by buying an electric car and putting a solar panel on our roof."
"Can we borrow your unused land?"
"Go away! I need that for my vege garden to help save you from global warming!"

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#37560 - 02/25/11 03:12 PM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: kallog]
ImagingGeek Offline
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Registered: 05/19/10
Posts: 410
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: kallog
It's not comparible. In the past 100 years we didn't "stuff the maximum number of people we could" into the world. ***We're not yet at the limit of capacity.***


That is debatable. Last year the scientific journal Science did a short series of food security and sustainability. Its behind a paywall, but some of the articles can be seen here:
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5967/812.abstract

Long story short, current agricultural practices are unlikely to be sustainable with the current population, never mind what its expected to grow to over the next few decades. Even if we held the current population, we're not sustainable - by which I mean that while they can feed all the people now, the effect they have on the land will over time reduce their capacity to a point where they are no longer sufficient.

There is a lot of room for improvement (less waste, higher efficiency, planning for sustainability), but our ability to feed ourselves is limited. At the end of the day the only sustainable option is to somehow control our population - preferably before nature forcibly does so.

Bryan


Edited by ImagingGeek (02/25/11 03:13 PM)
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#37573 - 02/26/11 06:03 AM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: ImagingGeek]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Originally Posted By: ImagingGeek

Long story short, current agricultural practices are unlikely to be sustainable with the current population,


I'm not too suprised. However I was showing the fault in the comparison with the car filled with people. We can fit more people on the Earth, sustainably or not, we do it every day the population grows.

However what you said strengthens my idea that losing land to rising sea levels is a relatively minor problem. I think some people just get panicy at the idea of old established places disappearing and blow it out of proportion like it's the end of the world.

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#37574 - 02/26/11 10:34 AM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: kallog]
ImagingGeek Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/19/10
Posts: 410
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: kallog
Originally Posted By: ImagingGeek

Long story short, current agricultural practices are unlikely to be sustainable with the current population,


I'm not too suprised. However I was showing the fault in the comparison with the car filled with people. We can fit more people on the Earth, sustainably or not, we do it every day the population grows.


The car thing was pretty stupid, but you do have to consider the source...

Unfortunately, space is the least of our problems, vis-a-vis sustainable populations.

Originally Posted By: kallog
However what you said strengthens my idea that losing land to rising sea levels is a relatively minor problem. I think some people just get panicy at the idea of old established places disappearing and blow it out of proportion like it's the end of the world.


I'd say its a pretty big issue. Lets ignore that most humans live close to large bodies of water for a second, and the disruption sea level changes would cause with that. About 1/3rd of the raid-fed food we consume is produced - yep you guessed it, close to those same bodies of water. So we'd loose food-producing capacity. Most of our internationally-traded goods are transported via ships; we'd have to replace many/all our ports. Same holds true for a lot of our other resources.

Its not a matter of simply moving people - its a matter of replacing a pattern of ~10,000 years of human habitation.

Bryan

Bryan
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#37593 - 02/27/11 12:25 AM Re: Sea levels will RISE by 80 meters (263 feet). [Re: ImagingGeek]
kallog Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Originally Posted By: ImagingGeek

About 1/3rd of the raid-fed food we consume is produced - yep you guessed it, close to those same bodies of water. So we'd loose food-producing capacity. Most of our internationally-traded goods are transported via ships; we'd have to replace many/all our ports. Same holds true for a lot of our other resources.


Sure. But if the coastline moves, then after sufficient time everything associated with that will move too. Rainy land is near the sea because it's near the sea, shipping ports are near the sea because they're near the sea.

Tho I'm not considering farmland here. Sure that might be a serious problem. My point was about populations having to move, which I still think is quite acceptable based on my previous reasoning. Mainly that just about the entire world's population has already had to move over the last 100 years just to get away from each other! People are still building new houses when they're too numerous to live in their parents' house, despite the huge expense.

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