Scientist predict sea level rise from burning of all Earth's fossil fuels

Oct 30, 2012
Study into sea level rise due to fossil fuels
Study by scientists has found that burning all the Earth’s reserves of fossil fuels could cause sea levels to rise by as much as five metres.

A study by University of Liverpool scientists has found that burning all the Earth's reserves of fossil fuels could cause sea levels to rise by as much as five metres – with levels continuing to rise for typically 500 years after carbon dioxide emissions ceased.

Climate change, including sea level rise, is usually discussed in terms of the next 100 years and this is demonstrated by the various research assessments used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

A paper published in found climate change has much longer-term implications for our planet. The paper, How warming and steric sea level rise relate to cumulative , considers how sea level may change over much longer timescales due to ocean warming.

Dr Ric Williams from the School of Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Cambridge, the University of Bristol and the National Oceanographic Centre, found that surface warming, and sea level rise connected to density changes in the ocean (called steric changes), increase nearly linearly with increased carbon emissions, when viewed in the future many centuries after emissions cease. The analysis studied particular issues involving the various feedbacks in the including those from ocean acidity and solubility changes in the ocean.

The implied steric sea level rise ranged from 0.7 metres to 5 metres if all the planet's conventional fossil fuel reserves were burned – representing a cumulative emission of about five trillion tonnes of carbon – which could happen 500 years or more after emissions cease.

The study only predicted from the warming of the oceans and did not include the additional contribution from the melting of the great ice sheets.

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User comments : 16

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CapitalismPrevails
2 / 5 (21) Oct 30, 2012
"SCIENTISTS predict sea level rise from burning of all Earth's fossil fuels" And the sky is falling. So because they're "scientists" means they're inoculated from criticism because there's no way they can have a human agenda or incentive for more government grants? They are just elevated above it all by default? BTW, if they think they can point to Sandy as evidence, i would point to the New England Hurricane of 1938 and the one of 1869. Hurricanes of this magnitude happen.
Pressure2
3.8 / 5 (8) Oct 30, 2012
CP: This apprears to be record setter, in storm surge and total size. It most likely will be shone to be the most energic storm to ever come this far north. We should find out much more in the coming months.
lengould100
3.4 / 5 (15) Oct 30, 2012
Good gosh, when will these crazy deniers finally shut the heck up?
Shootist
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 30, 2012
One does hope he also included all the carbonates in the crust, like limestone. After all, that carbon was once in the atmosphere too.
rubberman
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 30, 2012
One does hope he also included all the carbonates in the crust, like limestone. After all, that carbon was once in the atmosphere too.


Nope, just fossil fuels like the title of the article says....
Eric_B
2.6 / 5 (10) Oct 30, 2012
The deniers remind me of the chrono-doomsayers who won't STFU about 1999/2000 and now 2012...oooooh!

Only difference, the chrono-nerds shut up after the date passes and the world DOESN'T end. The GW deniers won't shut up until the ecosystem and society ACTUALLY DOES collapse!
Maggnus
3.3 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2012
"SCIENTISTS predict sea level rise from burning of all Earth's fossil fuels" And the sky is falling. So because they're "scientists" means they're inoculated from criticism because there's no way they can have a human agenda or incentive for more government grants? They are just elevated above it all by default? BTW, if they think they can point to Sandy as evidence, i would point to the New England Hurricane of 1938 and the one of 1869. Hurricanes of this magnitude happen.


I would have thought that you would have read the report, not just the headline.
MrPhysOrg
2.3 / 5 (9) Oct 30, 2012
How does sea level rise so much without melting the ice? It sounds like a Noah-style fiction/miracle. Where does the water come from?
Maggnus
3 / 5 (8) Oct 30, 2012
How does sea level rise so much without melting the ice? It sounds like a Noah-style fiction/miracle. Where does the water come from?


Google "steric changes". Then re-read the article.
VendicarD
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2012
Steric effects arise from the fact that each atom within a molecule occupies a certain amount of space. If atoms are brought too close together, there is an associated cost in energy due to overlapping electron clouds (Pauli or Born repulsion), and this may affect the molecule's preferred shape (conformation) and reactivity.
spaceagesoup
2.5 / 5 (8) Oct 31, 2012
The ice at the caps is melting ya fool! We're bout to experience the first northern summer of modern times with a clear shipping channel through the Arctic, and glacial meltwaters increasing all over the place. Let alone shelves dropping off and breaking away, more frequently too. Irrespective of this, cutting polluting the atmosphere is a priority for health, sustainability, best-practice ad future-proofing. I don't know how even a climate change denier could dispute that mitigating negative outcomes and ensuring sustainable practice is the best way forward, regardless of ocean levels or secondary weather effects. Industry and governments should be leading the way, instead of debating whether or not we caused it. We're still gonna have to fix it either way.
Egleton
2.8 / 5 (9) Oct 31, 2012


Like flies to a turd.
I never read the article, I just came to watch the show.
Please Deniers, don't ever let me down. You are my little rays of sunshine. You brighten up my day.
What a Hoot.
So. Just when do we expect the glaciers to advance on Manhattan?
I hope that I can get some happy snaps of the 2km high Ice Cliffs.
Don't you take any sass from the scientists, you hear?
Remember, it is only a theory that heat melts Ice.

Shinobiwan Kenobi
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2012
How does sea level rise so much without melting the ice? It sounds like a Noah-style fiction/miracle. Where does the water come from?


Are you Bill O'Reilly?

"The tides go in, the tides go out, you can't explain that..." - B. O'R.
VendicarD
3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2012
That quote from O'Reilly is the best ever.

I've watched the clip of him saying it, and saw his lips move in tune with the words that came out of his mouth, and I still can't believe that anyone could be that stupid.

Oh well. That is a modern day Republican for you.

Is it any wonder why Republicans mismanage and destroy everything they touch?

Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
not rated yet Nov 04, 2012
O'Reilly is a (religious) fascist. I can't think of an european fascist that can talk without demonstrations. That is why we fought WWII, after all.

And only US political and commercial climate would allow such persons air time!

@ CP: Exactly because they are scientists their results were, and will continue to be, scrutinized by peers. Web comments showing a lack of knowledge of science, not so much. (I'm not your ignorant peer.)

As for Sandy, it follows on the earlier 2012 US heatwave as the increased frequency and strength of hot extremes.

Here it was unusually hot surface water and an unusual Greenland high pressure that made, steered and merged Sandy and other systems. The point though is that the oceans are already 0.2 m higher from AGW. The 1938 NEH couldn't make such a costly (in lives and property) dent, even if today's society was taken back to 1938.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 05, 2012
And only US political and commercial climate would allow such persons air time!

There is an advantage to this (much like ther is an advantage to not banningthe neo nazi parties around the world). Banning such stuff does not make it go away - it just forces it underground where it festers and might break out on a scale that is surprising (to the point where it may be uncontainable).

Having it out in the open means you're always made aware that there is work to be done (education to be improved, awareness of dangers to freedoms and democracy to be fostered, etc.)

Most people don't care about much of anything beyond themselves (and when you come right down to it: that's not really surprising). So it's important to know how many do care about destroying everything that people have worked for before its too late.

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