Study: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have Caused Irreversible Effects on Sea-Level Rise
October 2, 2012 7:47 PM
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Emissions up until this point have ensured an irreversible sea-level rise of 1.1 meters by the year 3000
A new study has found that it's too late to reverse the
effects that greenhouse gas emissions will have
on sea levels over the next thousand years -- but we could lessen the impact of these effects if proper changes are made.
According to research by scientists at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Universit
é catholique de Louvain, greenhouse gas emissions produced up to this point has ensured an irreversible sea-level rise of 1.1 meters by the year 3000. This number could increase, they warn, if no action is taken to reduce these levels -- and the effects could extend into thousands of years into the future.
The research team came to this conclusion by modeling sea-level changes over thousands of years while including all of our planet's ice sheets and warming of the oceans into its projections. This includes glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The team said this has never been done before.
Using a climate modeling system called LOVECLIM, the team analyzed several scenarios over the next thousand years. It found that there will be a sea-level rise of at least 1.1 meters by the year 3000, but if other certain emissions scenarios were followed, it could increase to 2.1, 4.1 or even 6.8 meters.
The study also found that the Greenland ice sheet was the cause of over half of the sea-level rises while thermal expansion of the ocean came in second place and glaciers/ice came in third.
"Ice sheets are very slow components in the climate system; they respond on time scales of thousands of years," said Professor Philippe Huybrechts, co-author of the study. "Together with the
long lifetime of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
, this inertia is the real poison on the climate system; anything we do now that changes the forcing in the climate system will necessarily have long consequences for the ice sheets and sea level.
"Ultimately, the current polar ice sheets store about 65 metres of equivalent sea level and if climatic warming will be severe and long-lasting, all ice will eventually melt. Mankind should limit the concentration of greenhouse gases at the lowest possible level as soon as possible. The only realistic option is a drastic reduction of the emissions. The lower the ultimate warming will be, the less severe the ultimate consequences will be."
This study was published in
Environmental Research Letters
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RE: This is good news
10/5/2012 9:55:06 AM
a) Perhaps limited groups have started to do this recently. However, this is not the case with the most damning reports I've read. When asked for the data so that it could be verified, they destroyed original raw climate data and dumped a load of modified data without so much as an equation that could get it back to the original.
b) More recently, groups have in fact been submitting their data and methods. Though it is still common to get modified data and not the raw data. That said, there has also been more contrasting analysis recently. In the most recent reports I've read, the conclusion, rather than the data or method, was called into question.
c) I think he's confusing Al Gore with a scientist. His humble abode consumes 4 time energy of the average household in the U.S., while he preaches global warming. That said, I still haven't seen any climatologists publicly step up to the plate and say "This is how it's done.", while showing off their residence. Interestingly, the "Oil Monger" Bush, who gets railed for his lack of ecologic interest has a nice eco-friendly geothermal heating/cooling system for his house. Of course, his reasons are economic and not ecologic, but that just proves the two need not be mutually exclusive.
d) Honest - doubtful, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment.
Open - I've never seen them accepting of an alternate viewpoint (at least not in public). In my experience, they tend to play off the opposition as imbeciles too stupid to waste time on with meaningful discussion (again in a public setting).
Public - Sure, they are all over the place.
Debate - See point about openness.
e) In reality, most climatologist are probably not prone to denigrating and insulting others. However, those that represent them and interact with the media are often guilty of it. Unfortunately, the non climatology community (read "The world at large") only ever interact with these. If they want to be taken more seriously, they need to take us more seriously (see point about openness above).
If you want to be taken seriously, you need to at least given some counter examples to his points. References are even better if you have the time. Simply saying "They don't" or "They do" doesn't make it so.
While we are on the subject of global warming and greenhouse gases, do you know what the most abundant greenhouse gas is? It is the same whether you check by concentration (factually) or by its contribution to the green house effect (debatable). I'll give you a hint: It contains NO CARBON. Of the greenhouse gases, we contribute to, do you know what percentage we contribute? Any effect we can cause is limited to this as an overall percentage. Likewise, any resolution should be limited to this percentage. To go beyond this is to oppose the natural cycle.
I'm all for better power efficiency, cleaner air, and the likes. I'll even spend money into it for the real benefits it brings: long term savings, better health, etc. I'm not opposed to the idea of preserving the environment for our children to enjoy. I just prefer to take a more realistic outlook on what we can realistically affect and prefer to use methods that are well thought out and economically viable. Some of the proposed solutions cause problems worse than the initial problem. As an example, you can force everyone to use electric vehicles and appliances in place of gas and natural gas. But if the power plant puts out more pollution to provide the extra electricity than is saved by removing gas and natural gas, then you've made the problem worse. Even if the plant is marginally better, you have to consider the waste and energy spent building new cars and appliances before the old ones reached the end of their useful life. The better solution would be to instead, continue using gas in the area and work on moving over to a cleaner plant. With improvements in the efficiency and technologies of clean plants, costs go down and people are tempted to move to electric on their own.
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