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150 Years in 30 Seconds: Sea Level Debt Sinking U.S. Cities

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Measurements tell us that global average sea level is currently rising by about 1 inch per decade. But in an invisible shadow process, our long-term sea level rise commitment or "lock-in" — the sea level rise we don’t see now, but which carbon emissions and warming have locked in for later years — is growing 10 times faster, and this growth rate is accelerating. More . . . 

Comments

By Eric Peterson (Front Royal, VA 22630)
on August 12th, 2013

Does this “lock-in” take into account the current low rate of warming?  At the current rate, about 1C per century, it will take several centuries to start melting Greenland if the warming continues.  The present cost of flooding centuries from now is basically zero.

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By Daniel Batten
on August 13th, 2013

Eric, your disinformation campaign is not going to stop the warming. An overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that we are currently on a path of warming by 4C or more by the end of this century. Seas will rise increasingly fast as the decades pass.

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By Jimmy Cracks Capricorn (Uh Huh)
on August 14th, 2013

Erik, The current low rate of warming is on an upward trend unstoppable and Greenland has already begun melting, do you even read the news or do you hide behind the evangelical denialism?

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By Stephen DeLuca (Philadelphia)
on August 15th, 2013

What is the neutral carbon level, i.e., the level of carbon production that matches the capacity of the environment to absorb carbon? I understand that carbon began to rise in the 19th century. Does that mean that total global carbon output needs to return to some level achieved in the 19th century? It would be helpful in the discussions about our future to have some idea what lifestyle we are talking about.

It may be that rather than seeking to electrify and develop Africa, we should be studying how to mimic Africa and other low tech societies. How far do we need to go to become carbon neutral? Anything short of that is only slowing an inevitable process of higher temperatures and seas.

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By Eric Peterson (Front Royal, VA 22630)
on August 16th, 2013

Daniel Batten said: ” An overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that we are currently on a path of warming by 4C or more by the end of this century”

Perhaps you were confused by the claim that 97% of climate scientists support the idea that the globe is warming and that warming is primarily manmade.  That claim may be true, but that does not translate into an “overwhelming majority” for your claim.  Your claim is more of an outlier.

The current climate science consensus for sensitivity is 3C which means about 2C by the end of the century.  Recent papers point to 2C sensitivity and less than that by 2100.

Jimmy Cracks asks “do you even read the news or do you hide behind the evangelical denialism?”

I do not read the news other than the “news” printed in this blog so I can correct it.  I have read hundreds of scientific papers since 2005.

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By hank (Berkeley CA 94706)
on August 20th, 2013

> The current climate science consensus for sensitivity is 3C which means

I do not think it means what you think it means.

It means around 3C warmer than the preindustrial assuming we STOP at double the preindustrial CO2, and wait til temperature equilibrates.  But we’re not doing that. 

Climate sensitivity isn’t a number about what we’re doing, unless and well after we STOP DOING IT.

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By Eric Peterson (Front Royal, VA 22630)
on August 22nd, 2013

“It means around 3C warmer than the preindustrial assuming we STOP at double the preindustrial CO2, and wait til temperature equilibrates.  But we’re not doing that.”

Current we are at 400 ppm and double preindustrial is 560.  The current rate is 3ppm, see http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/  which means we have 50 years to go.

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