November 09, 2004

Vengeance on the Coasts

I think I finally know why modern conservatives and their corporate backers are so keen to bring on global warming: it may swamp the coasts much faster than previously thought, and we all know how much they hate the margins of continents. Plus, it might turn into a plum excuse to move the capital to Texas, and won't that be a hoot.

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Global warming (news - web sites) is melting the Arctic ice faster than expected, and the world's oceans could rise by about a meter (3 feet) by 2100, swamping homes from Bangladesh to Florida, the head of a study said on Tuesday.

...He said a 2001 U.N. report forecast world ocean levels would rise by 20-90 cms by 2100. He said some U.N. forecasts assumed melting Greenland ice would cause just 4 mm of the rise.

"We'll be at the top of the range, about a meter," he said. The ACIA report says that Greenland's melt alone could add 10 cms to global sea levels by 2100. Melting of other Arctic glaciers would also contribute.

About 17 million people in Bangladesh live less than one meter above sea level. Pacific islands like Tuvalu could be swamped and much of Florida south of Miami would be inundated by a one meter rise.

...Much of the rise projected by U.N. surveys in the years to 2100 is because water in the oceans expands as it warms, and so is not directly connected to melting ice. ...

Eh, but who cares if a shrunken Asian continent becomes home to millions upon millions of refugees who have no home to return to? I mean, it isn't like it would be hurting anything. A little starvation here, the loss of biodiversity there, a few wars, maybe some rioting. Pah.

Bring me my V-8 engine, and a smokestack to steer her by.

Posted by natasha at November 9, 2004 09:13 AM | Environment | Technorati links |