February 6, 2007 11:31 AM PST

What rising sea levels could mean for coastal areas

If sea levels rise a meter, the streets of Miami could end up underwater while New Orleans could become part of the Gulf of Mexico. But those aren't the only areas that will be in trouble, if two researchers from the University of Arizona are correct. maps

Jonathan Overpeck, director of the Environmental Studies Laboratory in the department of geosciences, and senior research specialist Jeremy Weiss have mapped simulations of what could occur to coastal communities worldwide as sea levels begin to rise because of global warming. The simulations show what coastal regions look like now and what could happen if sea levels climb by 1 meter. The researchers also created prognostications for less likely scenarios, rises of 2 to 6 meters.

"Using digital elevation models (DEMs) available through the United States Geological Survey, we calculated coastal areas susceptible to sea level rise based solely on elevation and adjacency to the sea for regions around the globe," the two wrote on their Web site.

Some degree of sea level rise is inevitable over the coming decades. Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report stating that sea levels could rise from 7 to 23 inches by 2100 because of rising temperatures. A 23-inch rise would be about 0.6 meters, or nearly 2 feet. That's enough to cause trouble in low-lying places like New Orleans and Bangladesh, but most coastal borders worldwide would have far less trouble.

"By 2100, it is probable safe to say that three meters is an upper-end estimate. Two feet is more likely," said Overpeck in an e-mail.

Other scientists, however, have predicted that sea levels could rise 10 feet or more by 2100 because of accelerated melting of the polar ice caps.

In the simulations, red and pink mark areas susceptible to flooding. At three meters, much of the Netherlands is reclaimed by the sea while Trieste, Italy, looks swampy. Irian Jaya, the half of New Guinea controlled by Indonesia, loses large hunks of real estate.

Throughout all of the simulations, however, Australia remains relatively untouched.

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28 comments

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Living at Sea Level = Bad
Wow. Thanks for the tip.
Posted by pdxtech (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Living at Sea Level = Bad
Wow. Thanks for the tip.
Posted by pdxtech (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get a grip!
The weight of ice shelf already displaces its weight on ocean levels. Sea levels will NOT rise if the ice shelf melts. During the ice age, when massive glacers formed on land masses, the sea level dropped. When land mass glacers melted the sea level raised. That will not be the case when ice melts that is already suspended in the oceans of the world!
Posted by thesilverrfox (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The grip would be your's to get
The story states the melting of the polar ice caps would be the
cause of sea level rise. While the ice shelf at north pole and the ice
shelf surrounding Antarctica are mainly floating ice, the Antarctic
polar cap and the Greenland cap sit atop land masses and will
definitely affect sea level should they continue to melt at the rate
they are going.

If you add ice to a full glass of water, it's going to spill.
Posted by hkyshawn (10 comments )
Link Flag
Read the facts
Read the facts, not the propaganda by industry giants and corperation financed government spokesmen. Don't watch Fox TV. Use google to reach the facts.
Posted by Shef Seattle (26 comments )
Link Flag
Read the facts
Read the facts, not the propaganda by industry giants and corperation financed government spokesmen. Don't watch Fox TV. Use google to reach the facts.
Posted by Shef Seattle (26 comments )
Link Flag
yes- thank you
Ride On! Try this with the nonbelievers - fill a glass with ice and water. Let it set until the ice melts. Reason? "Sea levels will NOT rise if the ice shelf melts." (thesilverfox) Thank you very much - if Gore could get this through his thick head...
Posted by jim2272 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Get a grip!
The weight of ice shelf already displaces its weight on ocean levels. Sea levels will NOT rise if the ice shelf melts. During the ice age, when massive glacers formed on land masses, the sea level dropped. When land mass glacers melted the sea level raised. That will not be the case when ice melts that is already suspended in the oceans of the world!
Posted by thesilverrfox (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The grip would be your's to get
The story states the melting of the polar ice caps would be the
cause of sea level rise. While the ice shelf at north pole and the ice
shelf surrounding Antarctica are mainly floating ice, the Antarctic
polar cap and the Greenland cap sit atop land masses and will
definitely affect sea level should they continue to melt at the rate
they are going.

If you add ice to a full glass of water, it's going to spill.
Posted by hkyshawn (10 comments )
Link Flag
Read the facts
Read the facts, not the propaganda by industry giants and corperation financed government spokesmen. Don't watch Fox TV. Use google to reach the facts.
Posted by Shef Seattle (26 comments )
Link Flag
Read the facts
Read the facts, not the propaganda by industry giants and corperation financed government spokesmen. Don't watch Fox TV. Use google to reach the facts.
Posted by Shef Seattle (26 comments )
Link Flag
yes- thank you
Ride On! Try this with the nonbelievers - fill a glass with ice and water. Let it set until the ice melts. Reason? "Sea levels will NOT rise if the ice shelf melts." (thesilverfox) Thank you very much - if Gore could get this through his thick head...
Posted by jim2272 (2 comments )
Link Flag
The earth is not a static planet.
Most of Florida and the coastal areas were the prime home to fish
in the past and may well be again in the future. Either grow gills or
move. You will have plenty of time to move as the latest
predictions from the IPCC are that at most the oceans will rise is
17" in the next 100 years. That is if the Global Cooling event
hasn't begun. Where does this author get the idea of the sea rising
by 1 meter. Must be from Gore's comic movie.
Posted by nouser (191 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The earth is not a static planet.
Most of Florida and the coastal areas were the prime home to fish
in the past and may well be again in the future. Either grow gills or
move. You will have plenty of time to move as the latest
predictions from the IPCC are that at most the oceans will rise is
17" in the next 100 years. That is if the Global Cooling event
hasn't begun. Where does this author get the idea of the sea rising
by 1 meter. Must be from Gore's comic movie.
Posted by nouser (191 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree
Any idiot can do a computer model of a doomsday scenario, and use it to "convince" the public they are in real danger. Why don't we do a model that shows the sea leval rising by 100 feet, and then create a pretty picture of the entire US underwater for public consumption? Even better, we can predict this 100 foot sea level rise will occur in the next 200 years, since there will be no-one alive now to call them liars in 2207. I am sure this would convince somew idiots that we "need to act now, and spend billions to prevent the catastrophe." Billions that could be spent easing famine, curing sickness, and improving the lives of people living on the planet TODAY.

I remember about 30 years ago that the "doomsday scientists" then were predicting an ice age in the next 100 years. Of course, they all had models and statistics that showed that the Earth would turn into an ice ball in a few hundred years.

Now, the latest crisis du jour is global warming. The UN has recently dislcosed that ALL scientists (which, incidently, were UN affiliated scientists)have concluded that not only is the global warming crisis imminent, and worse than anyone thought, but that people are entirely responsible for global warming. Hmmmmmm - these are folks that brought us the "food for oil" scandal in Iraq, and squandered millions of dollars - Double Hmmmmm - what about the many ice ages and subsequent global warming cycles the planet has experienced in the last 30 million years? We know what caused this, right? - carbon emmissions from cars! Wait! there were no people on earth then, but let's not confuse our pretty computer models!
Posted by itango (80 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You're wrong because...
they aren't just creating computer simulations of disaster and running them to flesh out the details. They're plugging in facts and measurements into already accepted models and running them forward and looking at what happens. So yes, any idiot can do what you say, but that's not what they're doing.

Look, denying global warming puts you in the place of second guessing nearly all the world's climatologists; are you really comfortable doing that? Do you actually think you have the expertise? You sound like the "experts" who go us into Iraq ..Wolfowitz and Cheney and Doug Fife... who told us that WMD were there and not only that but they KNEW WHERE they were and what's more that the war would pay for itself....

A certain brand of political fanatic has decided that all facts are somehow political... that reality itself is a political construct that will accord itself with whoever is able to get into power and create policy.

The people who imprisoned Galileo thought that too. That's a fatal mistake.

I don't feel like being dragged down into hell-on-Earth because a bunch of arrested development types feel like if they name call and have a big temper tantrum, they can somehow change reality.

Do you really think that all these scientists are just jumping on a faddish bandwagon? Think they're all lefties who are too stupid to do the science they went to school for for a decade and make their living doing day in and day out and what's more, what they really need is a *expert* like YOU to straighten them out, which you and Rush Limbaugh can do easily?

Is that what your brain is telling you? Because it if it is, I have news for you- you're mentally ill.



What do you THINK an early (if you can call it that) warning signal from experts would look like? HUMAN CAUSED (because THAT'S what the models are telling us) global warming is a fact, not a theory.

I'll tell you one more thing. If you think people around the world hate us now, wait until populations are being decimated and border dissolving as people flee famine because of global warming. And if you think that the 3/4 of Americans aren't going to turn on the 1/4 of Americans who went into denial, suppressed scientific opinion and tried in every way to discredit and thwart taking radical action against emissions- which would include the Limbaughites, the Bush administration and the Free Market Freaks - you're living in lala land. When the worldwide political upheaval starts, they're aren't going to be Republicans anymore and they're aren't going to be amphetamine addicted weirdos from the Chicago School fo Economics running their mouths about how the Free Market will solve all of mankind's problems. There's going to be a lot of formerly powerful people being systematically hunted down and tried for eco-crimes if that's what it takes for us to save ourselves. Read history. Read what the French did to their king and what the Russian serfs did to their masters and what history unleashes on you.. well... may God have mercy on your soul, because American's aren't going to show you any.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
I always like to say "wanna bet".
If pple really believe in something, they shall place their $ where their mouth are.
Create a fund (bet in actual fact)that pays 10% annually, much higher than a lot of investment. The money will then be confiscated when the situation that were predicted actually happens.
Imagine if Bush and co would have to place their head on the blocks for actual finding of WMD in Iraq, would they have considered more?
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Link Flag
What if YOU are wrong? Aren't the consequences of being dismissive of . . .
. . . Global Warming far worse than being wrong in predicting
Global Warming? If you're right and we take steps and nothing
happens, the worst case is a cleaner atmosphere and higher
debt (maybe). If Al Gore is right and we continue to take your
approach the consequence is worldwide disaster, famine,
massive population displacement, continuous worldwide
depression and possibly even the destruction of civilization (in
the worst case). Only the BEST case scenario results in Mardi
Gras getting wet.

If you were a betting man and betting on "A" resulted in the loss
of your car, but betting on "B" resulted in your destruction and
the destruction of everyone you know, how stupid would it be to
bet on "B"?

And the beauty of applying a little rational logic to this dilemma
is that if the US takes the lead in developing the technology to
control Global Warming and the rest of the world ends up having
to come to us to buy that technology, then right or wrong, it
could jumpstart our lagging tech sector and make us the
economic powerhouse of the world for decades to come. If we
ignore it we end up buying our windmills from the Dutch.

It's not rocket science folks. When 98% of the world's rocket and
all other scientists say they think this is real and the ones who
don't think it's real are made up of groups that think the world is
6000 years old, that dinosaurs existed alongside Man, that the
world is flat and then add to that the fact that the group that is
bankrolling these naysayers (and brainwashing your brain, BTW)
have a direct financial interest in such shortsightedness. Those
of you with a brain draw your own conclusions.

Personally, I wouldn't let Exxon or the Flat Earthers choose my
toothpaste . . . .

JoeL
Posted by joeldm (24 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
Any idiot can do a computer model of a doomsday scenario, and use it to "convince" the public they are in real danger. Why don't we do a model that shows the sea leval rising by 100 feet, and then create a pretty picture of the entire US underwater for public consumption? Even better, we can predict this 100 foot sea level rise will occur in the next 200 years, since there will be no-one alive now to call them liars in 2207. I am sure this would convince somew idiots that we "need to act now, and spend billions to prevent the catastrophe." Billions that could be spent easing famine, curing sickness, and improving the lives of people living on the planet TODAY.

I remember about 30 years ago that the "doomsday scientists" then were predicting an ice age in the next 100 years. Of course, they all had models and statistics that showed that the Earth would turn into an ice ball in a few hundred years.

Now, the latest crisis du jour is global warming. The UN has recently dislcosed that ALL scientists (which, incidently, were UN affiliated scientists)have concluded that not only is the global warming crisis imminent, and worse than anyone thought, but that people are entirely responsible for global warming. Hmmmmmm - these are folks that brought us the "food for oil" scandal in Iraq, and squandered millions of dollars - Double Hmmmmm - what about the many ice ages and subsequent global warming cycles the planet has experienced in the last 30 million years? We know what caused this, right? - carbon emmissions from cars! Wait! there were no people on earth then, but let's not confuse our pretty computer models!
Posted by itango (80 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You're wrong because...
they aren't just creating computer simulations of disaster and running them to flesh out the details. They're plugging in facts and measurements into already accepted models and running them forward and looking at what happens. So yes, any idiot can do what you say, but that's not what they're doing.

Look, denying global warming puts you in the place of second guessing nearly all the world's climatologists; are you really comfortable doing that? Do you actually think you have the expertise? You sound like the "experts" who go us into Iraq ..Wolfowitz and Cheney and Doug Fife... who told us that WMD were there and not only that but they KNEW WHERE they were and what's more that the war would pay for itself....

A certain brand of political fanatic has decided that all facts are somehow political... that reality itself is a political construct that will accord itself with whoever is able to get into power and create policy.

The people who imprisoned Galileo thought that too. That's a fatal mistake.

I don't feel like being dragged down into hell-on-Earth because a bunch of arrested development types feel like if they name call and have a big temper tantrum, they can somehow change reality.

Do you really think that all these scientists are just jumping on a faddish bandwagon? Think they're all lefties who are too stupid to do the science they went to school for for a decade and make their living doing day in and day out and what's more, what they really need is a *expert* like YOU to straighten them out, which you and Rush Limbaugh can do easily?

Is that what your brain is telling you? Because it if it is, I have news for you- you're mentally ill.



What do you THINK an early (if you can call it that) warning signal from experts would look like? HUMAN CAUSED (because THAT'S what the models are telling us) global warming is a fact, not a theory.

I'll tell you one more thing. If you think people around the world hate us now, wait until populations are being decimated and border dissolving as people flee famine because of global warming. And if you think that the 3/4 of Americans aren't going to turn on the 1/4 of Americans who went into denial, suppressed scientific opinion and tried in every way to discredit and thwart taking radical action against emissions- which would include the Limbaughites, the Bush administration and the Free Market Freaks - you're living in lala land. When the worldwide political upheaval starts, they're aren't going to be Republicans anymore and they're aren't going to be amphetamine addicted weirdos from the Chicago School fo Economics running their mouths about how the Free Market will solve all of mankind's problems. There's going to be a lot of formerly powerful people being systematically hunted down and tried for eco-crimes if that's what it takes for us to save ourselves. Read history. Read what the French did to their king and what the Russian serfs did to their masters and what history unleashes on you.. well... may God have mercy on your soul, because American's aren't going to show you any.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
I always like to say "wanna bet".
If pple really believe in something, they shall place their $ where their mouth are.
Create a fund (bet in actual fact)that pays 10% annually, much higher than a lot of investment. The money will then be confiscated when the situation that were predicted actually happens.
Imagine if Bush and co would have to place their head on the blocks for actual finding of WMD in Iraq, would they have considered more?
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Link Flag
What if YOU are wrong? Aren't the consequences of being dismissive of . . .
. . . Global Warming far worse than being wrong in predicting
Global Warming? If you're right and we take steps and nothing
happens, the worst case is a cleaner atmosphere and higher
debt (maybe). If Al Gore is right and we continue to take your
approach the consequence is worldwide disaster, famine,
massive population displacement, continuous worldwide
depression and possibly even the destruction of civilization (in
the worst case). Only the BEST case scenario results in Mardi
Gras getting wet.

If you were a betting man and betting on "A" resulted in the loss
of your car, but betting on "B" resulted in your destruction and
the destruction of everyone you know, how stupid would it be to
bet on "B"?

And the beauty of applying a little rational logic to this dilemma
is that if the US takes the lead in developing the technology to
control Global Warming and the rest of the world ends up having
to come to us to buy that technology, then right or wrong, it
could jumpstart our lagging tech sector and make us the
economic powerhouse of the world for decades to come. If we
ignore it we end up buying our windmills from the Dutch.

It's not rocket science folks. When 98% of the world's rocket and
all other scientists say they think this is real and the ones who
don't think it's real are made up of groups that think the world is
6000 years old, that dinosaurs existed alongside Man, that the
world is flat and then add to that the fact that the group that is
bankrolling these naysayers (and brainwashing your brain, BTW)
have a direct financial interest in such shortsightedness. Those
of you with a brain draw your own conclusions.

Personally, I wouldn't let Exxon or the Flat Earthers choose my
toothpaste . . . .

JoeL
Posted by joeldm (24 comments )
Link Flag
Rising sea level
This is such nonsense. Research done by responsible scientists based on realistic models show sea level rises of inches not feet.
Posted by mescovitz (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think there was a whole group of drunk in downtown New Orleans saying ...
. . . something just like that just before Katrina!

Add your post to the list of "Famous Last Words". Along with some
French guy who said, "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no
military value."

JoeL
Posted by joeldm (24 comments )
Link Flag
Rising sea level
This is such nonsense. Research done by responsible scientists based on realistic models show sea level rises of inches not feet.
Posted by mescovitz (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think there was a whole group of drunk in downtown New Orleans saying ...
. . . something just like that just before Katrina!

Add your post to the list of "Famous Last Words". Along with some
French guy who said, "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no
military value."

JoeL
Posted by joeldm (24 comments )
Link Flag
What happens when you turn off central heating?
Do some research on the thermo-haline current. If you turn off the earths central heater that transports heat from the equator to the north, what happens? The north gets cold. Ice Age not rising sea levels happens.
Posted by ira_davis (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What happens when you turn off central heating?
Do some research on the thermo-haline current. If you turn off the earths central heater that transports heat from the equator to the north, what happens? The north gets cold. Ice Age not rising sea levels happens.
Posted by ira_davis (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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