In new report, climate experts to warn of sea peril

Sep 25, 2013 by Richard Ingham, Anthony Lucas
View of the Norvegian fjord Kongsfjord off the coast of Ny-Alesund on June 5, 2010. Countries around the world need to act with a sense of urgency if the 2015 UN climate change talks on cutting emissions are to have a credible outcome, a top EU official has warned.

UN experts are expected to warn on Friday that global warming will hoist sea levels higher than was projected six years ago, threatening millions of lives.

In a report touching on a high-stakes, contentious issue, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will predict sea levels to rise by between 26 and 81 centimetres (10.4 and 32.4 inches) by 2100, according to a draft seen by AFP.

If these estimates are endorsed in the final document issued in Stockholm, they will outstrip projections made by the Nobel-winning group in 2007 of a 18-59 cm rise by 2100.

The figures are based on the most optimistic and most pessimistic scenarios for reining in heat-trapping .

Sea-level rise is, potentially, one of the big whammies of climate change.

Rising seas stealthily gobble up valuable land and threaten oblivion for low-lying small island nations like the Maldives, where the ground level is just 1.5 metres (five feet) above the waves on average.

They also expose cities to storm surges, as was catastrophically shown last year when parts of New York City and New Jersey were engulfed by Tropical Storm Sandy.

Trying to predict ocean rise, however, has been at times like trying to pierce a fog.

"[Climatology] is still a young science," said French specialist Anny Cazenave, who was lead author of the section in the IPCC's upcoming Fifth Assessment Report, and of its predecessor in 2007.

"We only have worldwide data going back 20 or 30 years, thanks to satellites, and before that, we only have partial observations."

But huge strides have recently been made.

In , smarter computer models, insights into the sources of sea-level rise and greater understanding of ocean have helped unlock important knowledge.

Smoke billows from a coal chemical factory in Huaibei, China's Anhui province, on August 14, 2013.

"Today, we have considerably reduced the margin of uncertainty," Cazenave said in a telephone interview.

In 2007, the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report blamed on thermal expansion—when water warms in a confined area, it rises—and meltwater from glaciers and snow.

But the arithmetic didn't add up. The rise was faster than these two factors could explain.

What was suspected at the time, but could not be proved, was that the extra water was coming from the mighty icesheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

Recent studies discovered a significant run-off from these sources as ice that spews into the sea from land glaciers meets warming water.

Over the past 20 years, the icesheets have accounted for about a third of the average rise in global mean sea level, which is 3.2 mm (0.13 inches) per year, the new data suggest.

'Major uncertainty'

Caution, though, is needed in predictions for this century.

"There is major uncertainty about the dynamic flow of the icesheets, particularly Antarctica, and their potential contribution to sea-level rise," said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French glaciologist.

One scientist told AFP it may be useful for governments to work on what some experts fear could be a rise as high as 150 cm (60 inches) by 2100.

"There's no point building a dike and realise after a half-century that it was too low and that you have to rebuild it," said Anders Levermann of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

"For civilization, the stakes are high," a commentary warned in the US journal Science last year.

"Without adaptation, a rise by 50 cm (20 inches) would displace 3.8 million people in the most fertile part of the Nile River delta.

"A rise by two metres (6.5 feet) could displace 187 million people globally."

A study published in August warned the world's 136 largest coastal cities could risk combined annual losses of as much as $1 trillion (735 billion euros) from floods by 2050.

Sea levels do not rise at the same pace around the world, with some areas experiencing rates much higher than the global average.

This may be because of local subsidence as groundwater is extracted for construction. Parts of China's Yellow River delta, for instance, are sinking at up to 25 cm (10 inches) per year.

Also, air pressure, currents and winds can push water over to one side of an ocean, causing a build-up relative to the other side.

For this reason, the northeastern US is a "hot spot" for a far higher-than-average rise.

Explore further: Mathematician uses skills to study Greenland's retreating glaciers (w/ Video)

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Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (18) Sep 25, 2013
Ah, these false prophets. Whyfore do these not know that the blessed Element seeks the lowest level, and will overflow lower regions of the Earth before any such rise can occur? Large indeed are the lower regions!
Know they not that desity of the blessed Element is greater than it's avater ice?
Lurker2358
1.7 / 5 (19) Sep 25, 2013
They also expose cities to storm surges, as was catastrophically shown last year when parts of New York City and New Jersey were engulfed by Tropical Storm Sandy.


Misinformation much?

Studies showed that Sandy was not a "Black Swan," and not by a long shot.

Other studies showed that Global Warming had little or no influence on the storm's effects, after all, this happened before just about 80 years ago, remember?

How do you expect to be taken seriously, when you take every opportunity to misrepresent well known facts?
Neinsense99
2.6 / 5 (16) Sep 25, 2013
Ah, these false prophets. Whyfore do these not know that the blessed Element seeks the lowest level, and will overflow lower regions of the Earth before any such rise can occur? Large indeed are the lower regions!
Know they not that desity of the blessed Element is greater than it's avater ice?

Large indeed are the lower regions, especially in the US of A, where the burgers and ice creams have already flowed to and inundated many lower portions of the typical citizen....
runrig
4.8 / 5 (10) Sep 26, 2013


They also expose cities to storm surges, as was catastrophically shown last year when parts of New York City and New Jersey were engulfed by Tropical Storm Sandy.


Misinformation much?

Studies showed that Sandy was not a "Black Swan," and not by a long shot.

Other studies showed that Global Warming had little or no influence on the storm's effects, after all, this happened before just about 80 years ago, remember?

How do you expect to be taken seriously, when you take every opportunity to misrepresent well known facts?

They don't say it was a "black swan" - just an example of a storm bringing high water, which rising seas will only make worse.
Sandy's unusual track was caused by a HP block over Greenland which made the Jet buckle under it and disrupt. Thereby turning the steering flow E'ly. May or may not have been as a result of GW ( because of unusual events in the Arctic ). Most likely just weather.
ScooterG
1.6 / 5 (21) Sep 26, 2013
"UN experts are expected to warn on Friday"

We've come to expect predictions of doom and gloom every time the UN opens their mouth.

Maybe it's time for the USA to de-fund the UN and send the world leaches back to their miserable homelands?
Claudius
1.4 / 5 (18) Sep 26, 2013
Trying to predict ocean rise, however, has been at times like trying to pierce a fog.


"GCMs generally reproduce the broad climatic behaviours at different geographical
locations and the sequence of wet/dry or warm/cold periods on a mean monthly scale.

However, model outputs at annual and climatic (30‐year) scales are irrelevant with
reality; also, they do not reproduce the natural overyear fluctuation and, generally,
underestimate the variance and the Hurst coefficient of the observed series; none of the
models proves to be systematically better than the others.

The huge negative values of coefficients of efficiency at those scales show that model
predictions are much poorer that an elementary prediction based on the time average.

This makes future climate projections not credible."

Assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical time series http://itia.ntua....nfo/850/
runrig
5 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2013
edit glitch strikes again
runrig
4.6 / 5 (9) Sep 26, 2013
Assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical time series http://itia.ntua....nfo/850/

"To compare global temperature data to projections, we need to consider that IPCC projections do not attempt to predict the effect of solar variability, or specific sequences of either volcanic eruptions or El Niño events. Solar and volcanic forcing are routinely included only in 'historic' simulations for the past climate evolution, not for the future, while ENSO is included as a stochastic process where the timing of specific warm or cool phases is random and averages out over the ensemble of projection models. Therefore, model-data comparisons either need to account for the short-term variability due to these natural factors as an added quasi-random uncertainty, or the specific short-term variability needs to be removed from the observational data before comparison. Since the latter approach allows a more stringent comparison it is adopted here"
runrig
4.5 / 5 (8) Sep 26, 2013
cont

Some conclusions...

"During the last ten years, warming in the unadjusted data is less, due to recent La Niña conditions (ENSO causes a linear cooling trend of −0.09 °C over the past ten years in the surface data) and the transition from solar max to the recent prolonged solar min (responsible for a −0.05 °C cooling trend) (Foster & Rahmstorf 2011). Nevertheless, unadjusted observations lie within the spread of individual model projections, which is a different way of showing the consistency of data and projections (Schmidt 2012)."....
"Fig1 shows that the adjusted observed global temperature evolution closely follows the central IPCC projections....."

From....http://iopscience.../article
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (20) Sep 26, 2013
""[Climatology] is still a young science," said French specialist Anny Cazenave, who was lead author of the sea-level section in the IPCC's upcoming Fifth Assessment Report, and of its predecessor in 2007.

"We only have worldwide data going back 20 or 30 years, thanks to satellites, and before that, we only have partial observations."

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...tml#jCp"

But "trust us", our predictions are correct so the world must adopt socialist policies to prevent Waterworld.
runrig
4.3 / 5 (12) Sep 26, 2013
But "trust us", our predictions are correct so the world must adopt socialist policies to prevent Waterworld.


That is a completely bizarre, paranaoic account of things, and says far more about you than the process. The predictions are done by the world's climate experts, with the most up to date data and modelling. They know full well all are imperfect and they DO NOT say they are correct (to every last digit - that could never be said to be due obvious uncertainties). Then you turn to your real beef. Socialism.

Has it ever occurred to you that some universal truths may not actually be the exclusive purview of right-wingers, with their unhealthy hatred of "socialism". That actually there are other people out there whose world-view is equally valid and might just reveal a truth you are blind to ... because of your ideological restraints?

God (who-ever your imaginary friend is) save us from extremism - wherever that lies.
Do I need to mention some examples?
VendicarE
4.2 / 5 (10) Sep 26, 2013
"[Climatology] is still a young science," - RyggTard

Last week you said it was a Religion.

Make up your mind, Moron.

What are you going to claim it is next week? A breakfast Cereal?

Non-Thinkers like RyggTard claim to be "Free Thinkers" but in reality they are just corporate stooges who regurgitate any damn fool thing that their corporate masters feed them.

Their sheer idiocy knows no bounds.
VendicarE
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 26, 2013
"But "trust us", our predictions are correct so the world must adopt socialist policies to prevent Waterworld." - RyggTard

Like Climatology, nuclear science was only around 30 years old when it produced the first nuclear reactor, and the PC on Tardieboys's desk is based on a design that is also around 30 years old.

RyggTard doesn't have the capacity to oppose the science, since the science is rock solid. So he whines about Socialism.

His opposition to scientific reality is a pure result of his ideological political fantasy.

He is a shining example of why America is such a profound Failure.

ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (18) Sep 26, 2013
They know full well all are imperfect and they DO NOT say they are correct (to every last digit - that could never be said to be due obvious uncertainties). Then you turn to your real beef. Socialism.


If they are not correct, how can they justify to voters they must have more of their wealth plundered by the state to fix a problem they don't know will happen?
But, hey, if they are wrong (or right) they won't suffer any real consequence. Authority with no accountability does not inspire trust.
Neinsense99
2.4 / 5 (15) Sep 26, 2013
"[Climatology] is still a young science," - RyggTard

Last week you said it was a Religion.

Make up your mind, Moron.

What are you going to claim it is next week? A breakfast Cereal?
...

Breakfast cereal? How apropos! I've often thought of him as a bit of a 'fruit loop'....
VendicarE
4.3 / 5 (12) Sep 27, 2013
"If they are not correct, how can they justify to voters they must have more of their wealth plundered by the state to fix a problem they don't know will happen?" - RyggTard

For the same reason they have their wealth "plundered" for the production of vaccines that cure diseases that science can't guarantee they will be infected with.

For the same reason they will have their wealth "plundered" for the construction of roads and schools that they will never use.

For the same reason that they will have their wealth "plundered" for the construction of bridges that they will never cross.

For the same reason they will have their wealth "plundered" for the construction of safety standards that they will never employ.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

There are fools who oppose all forms of material progress.

You aren't the first, and you are one of the least effective.
runrig
4.5 / 5 (8) Sep 27, 2013
They know full well all are imperfect and they DO NOT say they are correct (to every last digit - that could never be said to be due obvious uncertainties). Then you turn to your real beef. Socialism.


If they are not correct, how can they justify to voters they must have more of their wealth plundered by the state to fix a problem they don't know will happen?
But, hey, if they are wrong (or right) they won't suffer any real consequence. Authority with no accountability does not inspire trust.


You take out house insurance I take it?
What is the probability in any given year that either your house will be burgled or catch fire/flood?
Precisely
95% prob of surety is statistically near certain.
Selfishness is a hateful vice - for that is the upshot of moaning about your "tax dollars".

Also the IPCC couldn't win with you lot. 100% and it would be - "nothing's certain how can they say that."
And 95% is - " ...have more of their wealth ..... they don't know will happen "