Re: Global Warming

Posted by Southern Man on May 15, 2002 at 08:34

Re: Global Warming (DA Morgan)

Dogrock: …why should the earth heating up be seen only as bad, why is no one emphasing any good possibilities.
Mike Kremer: Lets all put down one or two items, re the good or bad effects of Global Warming, we see it.
DA Morgan: What matters is where you are and your current climate. For example:
1. If you are in a semi-arid area or area too cool to grow crops things may get better.
2. If you live in a low-lying flood plain like the country of Bangladesh or the Mississippi River valley you may find your real-estate holdings and crops under water or inundated by salt water that kills everything.
3. If you are in a hot sweltering climate things may become unbearably hot and humid or, due to the fact that global warming does not affect the entire globe the same way, nothing may happen or you get some relief. But if you don't your crops may die and your air conditioning bills (if you are in an area like Florida) may skyrocket.
4. If you are in a permafrost area where you are dependent on the frost not melting and turning everything into a muddy morass you might lose everything.
5. If you are in an area visited by hurricanes your entire world may blow away (or maybe not). More heat means more potential energy to fuel large storms.
Southern Man: This sounds like you are predicting that the sea level is going to rise hundreds of feet and the temperature is going to rise tens of degrees C. Isn't that a littel extreme?
DA Morgan: Not at all what I am predicting. In fact a rise of just a few inches in mean sea level is enough to do in much of some coastal areas.
Southern Man: If you have any evidence to support your contentions I would be eager to see it because it seems so contrary to common sense. Common sense says that the effect of a one inch rise in sea level would be hard to see in a shore which is subjected to a several foot change twice a day due to tides, storms that routinely raise the level hundreds of inches, and plate tectonics that raise and lower the land tens of thousands of inches.
DA Morgan: When you see a statement such as "If the entire pacific ocean were 1cm higher", that is an average not a statement of literal fact. The oceans bulge and tides move huge quantities of water. When that water reaches shallower areas it build up to form surf and waves. So an increase of one centimeter might translate into waves pounding two feet higher up the beach, might translate into salt water invading fresh water marshes and lowlands, and might wipe out huge areas of coastal flood plains such as much of the country of Bangladesh.
Southern Man: I certainly agree that a 1cm rise would cause waves to reach far more than 1cm farther inland. The daily tidal changes result is a change in the water/land interface moving several km in some locations. Your fallacy seems to be that there are crops being grown on the beaches. … Here is a reference from the US EPA that shows graphically that the amount of land in danger from the expected rise in the next several hundred years is minimal even if nothing is done to stop the rise or create dikes as has been done in Holland.
DA Morgan: According to published reports the island nation of Kiribati will be no more before this century is over. The local government is trying to figure out what it is going to do with its citizens. It is hard to see one's assets turned from house and home into a shipping hazard.
Southern Man: For these islands to be no more would require that the highest point would have to be submerged. That is 81 meter above sea level. You can’t fail to see that 81 meters is not the same as a few centimeters. Even if we assume the problem is that the problem is really erosion rather than a rise in sea level, how can you believe that a few centimeters rise in sea level could suddenly cause erosion of 81 meters of coral that wouldn’t occur anyway?
DA Morgan: Semantic nitpicking may get you out of an argument with a two year old but my point stands. These people are about to lose their country
Southern Man: How do you propose that a few centimeter rise in the water level is going to inundate land that is many meters above the water?
DA Morgan: A few centimeters can make a significant difference. Something you would know if you had taken the time to pursue some of the links I provided.
Southern Man: Which link says that you can move water upward 10 meters above sea level by raising it 1/1000th that far?
DA Morgan: None. And I don't cater to gross exaggerations.
Southern Man: So if the ocean rises 1cm every year, it will travel inland 17.6 meters per year. That means that it would have only taken 300 years to go the 40 miles inland to where you lived. DA Morgan was claiming that the sea was rising 26 times farther in 1/3 the time. Seems like nonsense to me but I await the proof which now seems a vain hope.
DA Morgan: You are confusing what "I claimed" with that claimed by the government of Kiribati.
Last time I looked I was not their government, nor a citizen, nor an adviser ... not even their spokesperson.
Stop with the hyperbole and red herrings and I might answer your question.
That a small peak out of an entire country sticks out of the water does not mean the country itself, the places where people live, work, and play, is not a shipping hazard.
So here we are. You said “Semantic nitpicking may get you out of an argument with a two year old but my point stands. These people are about to lose their country” and then “You are confusing what "I claimed" with that claimed by the government of Kiribati.” So we can’t trust what you say to be what you mean? Either you believe what you said or you don’t. Or is that just semantics?

You want to say that a few centimeter rise will create a shipping hazard even though a visible 260 foot peak survives. You want to say that people farm a few centimeters above sea level. This is nonsense. The sea level rises and falls every day and people are used to this. No one lives at sea level. A few centimeter change in sea level wouldn't bother anyone who is already used to a meter rise and fall every day.

If you have an explanation how islands that rise from 0-260 feet above sea level are going to become a shipping hazard because of a few centimeter rise in sea level then I would be interested in learning how. But it is very hard to learn from someone who can’t be trusted to answer a simple question without resorting to continued personal attack and evasion just to avoid admitting they made a mistake by repeating the nonsense of the radicals as if it were their own thought.

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