Click for an interactive map.

Source: National Geographic

Category: Digital Media, Science

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

22 Responses to “If all the ice melted…”

  1. Bob A says:

    I wish they could take Texas instead of Florida ;)

  2. I am near the water, but 60 feet above sea level

    Still, gonna be rough in a few centuries

  3. Iamthe50percent says:

    Looks OK here in Chicago. Now if the New Madrid fault cracks open …

  4. Tim says:

    Maybe a rural real estate investment to pass down to our great grand children inheritors?

  5. texan dan says:

    Just imagine the lawsuits that come out of this.

  6. TerryC says:

    Put away the Al Gore slides, Barry, and stop scaring the ignorant. Sea level rose about 6.7 inches in the 20th century.

    “Considering the above results, and allowing for the ongoing higher trend in recent years shown by altimetry (see Section, we assess the rate for 1961 to 2003 as 1.8 ± 0.5 mm yr–1 and for the 20th century as 1.7 ± 0.5 mm yr–1.”

    Since you are 60 feet above sea level, I think you are OK for awhile. And don’t give me any “But, what if’s” about the future. Science is about facts, not arm waving and blowing smoke to scare the peasants.

    • Low Budget Dave says:

      True. Science is about facts. However, the slide doesn’t say “2100″ or any such arbitrary date, it just shows what would happen if all the ice sheets (including Greenland) melted.

      It might be speculation, but it is not unscientific. The last time CO2 in the atmosphere was above 380 ppm was in the Pliocene, about 2.2 to 3.6 million years ago. It is also important to note that the Pliocene was also the last time the Earth was ice-free. Scientists long believed that these two facts were unrelated, but now believe there is some relationship. Maybe not causality, but certainly something.

      The best estimates right now are that the sea level will rise about three feet by 2100, with a 95% confidence. This has implications for finance. In my old neighborhood, there were about a dozen houses that were more than 100 years old.

      The houses will not last another 100. Nor will the new ones. Some time in the next 87 years, the river will wash them away (with a 95% confidence).

      The 5% confidence projections, on the other hand, are somewhere around 40 feet. Although this would not submerge Florida (average elevation about 100 ft) it would certainly cause millions (billions?) of lives to be ruined.

      So, on the one hand, the map seems to overstate the 5% scenario. On the other hand, it hardly even starts to reflect the countless trillions of dollars in damage.

      Which goes back to an old scientific fact: “Cheap energy is expensive.”

      • TerryC says:

        Computer projections do not reality make. Using IPCC data, 6.7 inch rise in 20th century (give or take a few inches, statistically, of course). 3 plus feet by 2100? Doubtful. Greenland only contains about 10% of the land ice mass, with almost all the rest in Antarctica. And, although it is sea ice, and not in the land ice calculations, sea ice around Antarctica now exceeds the satellite average for 1981-2010:

        “Sea ice extent averaged 17.16 million square kilometers (6.63 million square miles) for November. The long-term 1981 to 2010 average extent for this month is 16.30 million square kilometers (6.29 million square miles)”.

        Yes, Dave, facts and science are powerful things. Too bad they get in the way of so many people’s narratives. My first geology professor in 1971 told our class if you build on a flood plain, you have to expect to get flooded, and no matter how much you whine to the Corps of Engineers, they can’t save you. I think our 21st century technology and civilization can handle a 8 to 12 inch sea level rise in 100 years. I haven’t heard much lately about mass suicides or an exodus from the Netherlands.

        Of course, if people still want to build their million dollar beach houses 3 feet above high tide, you can’t save stupid people from themselves.

      • Low Budget Dave says:

        Terry, You are assuming that the 1-foot sea rise in the last 100 years was at a constant speed. It was not. Warming is a feedback loop, meaning that once it passes a certain point, it accelerates. The science behind this is well understood. Not only does brown dirt tend to absorb more heat than ice, but extra water vapor in the atmosphere tends to trap heat as well.

        Pretty much every climate scientist agrees that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating, and is certainly going to be much faster than the last 100 years. The IPCC report summarizes the actual science, but it was ignored by people who tend to pick out tiny snowstorms as proof that the global climate is just dandy. (See for example)

        As with many deniers, you are picking out a few isolated facts and extrapolating them to your view of the world. The end conclusion you reach, however, is not scientific. The winter sea ice in the Anarctic (for example) is determined by wind patterns, not by temperature. Since this is sea ice, and not land ice, it has no effect at all on sea level. It certainly does not prove the anarctic is cooling, because it is not.

        As far as people building on flood plains, that too is a misleading argument. Not to pick on Miami, but a huge portion of the city is built within five feet of sea level. Even a three foot rise would destabilize buildings, and eventually destroy much of the infrastructure. The cost to replace Miami (alone) would pay for permanent CO2 scrubbers on dozens of coal plants.

        The economics of CO2 scrubbing is also well understood. Scrubbers cost millions of dollars, but they create jobs. These are good-paying jobs, too, in a technical manufacturing environment. Protecting the atmosphere costs a few jobs but it creates some jobs too. The net job loss is almost immaterial, since much of it is baked into the market price already.

        On the other hand, we could simply wait for Miami (and other major east coast cities) to crumble and fail, and blame the residents for building too close to the water. But how would that help? Let’s say we can place the blame entirely on the city fathers of Miami. What are they supposed to do? Pay to replace the city? There is not enough money in the whole state.

        More to the point, the next big hurricane that hits Miami may well wipe out every insurance company in the nation that issues flood insurance. The Federal program would go under within a matter of weeks, and the damage would never be fixed at all. Then, when the next hurricane comes in at Hilton Head or Galveston or New York, there would be zero reserves. Residents would have only two options: Live without insurance; or Move Away and never come back. Either option would seriously increase the risk of catastrophic financial failure, starvation, and anarchy in the United States.

        You may be a risk-taker, but most people shy away from that size of risk. Particularly when there is no reward to be gained.

  7. abstutz says:

    Castration of the Nation

  8. farmera1 says:

    And on the positive side:

    Wind Power Rivals Coal With $1 Billion Order From Buffett

  9. Chief Tomahawk says:

    So, overlay that map with nuke plants and how many would be under water?

  10. Francisco Bandres de Abarca says:

    Awesome carving at Little Rock!

  11. bonalibro says:

    Think of the susceptibility to hurricanes with all the barrier islands gone. Frightening.

  12. romerjt says:

    On the subject of climate and warming . . the big news from Albany is that the average annual temperature, which reached 50 degree only 6 times since 1895 (1990,1998, 2006) and for the last 3 yrs in row! – won’t this year. Depending on the rest of Dec, 2013 might actually be cooler than normal (2000) that would be only the second time since 2001. Brrrr! Before this month, 107 of the 155 months since Jan 2001 have been warmer than normal (3 of 4) here in Albany.

    Other things I’ve found using the info on the NOAA site is that warming is occurring more in the coastal regions of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states and not so much at all when you get below Virginia.

    For Long Island, 1998 was the first time the AAT reached 55 degrees and has been 55 or more 6 times since, 7 of 16 yrs. Since 1980 the AAT was below the 1895-2013 average only 3 times.

  13. Bob K. says:

    More people will die from crop failures in this coming decade due to the very real sunspot caused cooling. In the late 1300′s they went from warming to famine in a decade as the rains and short growing seasons destroyed the wheat crops in Europe. The cause, solar minimums. Don’t let these warming whackos leave your family unprepared.

    • romerjt says:

      And then there is this . . .
      “n 2006, NASA made a prediction for the next sunspot maximum, being between 150 and 200 around the year 2011 (30-50% stronger than cycle 23), followed by a weak maximum at around 2022.[24][25] The prediction did not come true. Instead, the sunspot cycle in 2010 was still at its minimum, where it should have been near its maximum, which shows the Sun’s current unusual low activity.[26]

      Due to a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, independent scientists of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) now (2011) predict that the next 11-year solar sunspot cycle, Cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.[27]

      Cycle 24 is now well underway (as of March 2012); measurements indicate that the minimum occurred around December 2008 and that the next maximum will reach a sunspot number of 90 around May 2013.[28] Nothing has yet been stated for cycle 25.” Wikipedia

  14. corpgov says:

    OK, San Francisco Bay Area expands dramatically. Looks like I’ll be under water. At least we’re driving out “king coal.”

  15. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Upon further review… China gets hammered.