Scientists warn sea level rise will be dramatic

| 20/02/2018 | 46 Comments

Cayman News Service, Rising seas, climate change(CNS): Millions of people living in low-lying areas such as the Cayman Islands are at increased risk that rising oceans will have a greater impact and be harder to stop or reverse than previously believed, despite cuts in emissions, scientists say in a new study. Sea level rise is a major consequences of climate change and the effects can already be observed in many areas around the world but scientists are warning that it could be far worse over the longer term even if the world sticks to the Paris climate deal goals.

A new study published in Nature Communications Monday reveals that sea-level rise will not respond quickly to cuts in greenhouse gas because of the combination of factors forcing the water level up.

The thermal expansion of ocean water, the retreat of mountain glaciers and ice caps, and the mass loss of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combine to drive the rise. Scientists have found that these contributors respond in different ways to a warmer climate, and all respond on timescales that range from centuries to millennia. Given the current emission levels and those in the near future, the Earth is facing a sea-level rise legacy, which will only fully unfold in the centuries to come.

The researchers said each five-year delay in peaking global CO2 emissions will likely increase median sea-level rise estimates for 2300 by 20 centimeters.

“Man-made climate change has already pre-programmed a certain amount of sea-level rise for the coming centuries, so for some it might seem that our present actions might not make such a big difference — but our study illustrates how wrong this perception is,” said lead author Matthias Mengel from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), in a press release.

“Every delay in peaking emissions by five years between 2020 and 2035 could mean additional 20cm of sea-level rise in the end — which is the same amount the world’s coasts have experienced since the beginning of the pre-industrial era.”

Global sea-level rise is driven by warming and expanding ocean water, as well as the melting of mountain glaciers, ice caps, and the vast Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In this work the authors point out that the Antarctic ice sheet is very sensitive to atmospheric warming.

“The uncertainty of future sea-level rise is at present dominated by the response of Antarctica. With present knowledge on ice sheet instability, large ice loss from Antarctica seems possible even under modest warming in line with the Paris agreement,” Mengel said. “Even a sea-level rise of up to three meters until 2300 cannot be ruled out completely, as we are not yet fully certain how the Antarctic ice sheet will respond to global warming.”

The scientists warn that there are quantifiable consequences of delaying action and swift climate mitigation is crucial to limit additional risks.

“For millions of people around the world living in coastal areas, every centimeter can make a huge difference — to limit sea-level rise risks immediate CO2 reduction is key,” said co-author Carl-Friedrich Schleussner.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    By the time everyone realizes AGW is a complete fraud, there will be a new manufactured and well funded crisis. The so called scientific consensus is a complete sham.
    For every single weather event or non event there is an AGW cause. It just goes to show you what happens when you decide on a conclusion and build your theory to support your conclusion. Look at the science closely and see for yourself. The “leaps of faith” are pretty astounding.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I shake my head in amazement as I witness these studies and reports which essentially claim that mankind is significant to the extent of affecting the sea levels of Planet Earth.

    Not only is it fantastically absurd theory on its own, but it also ignores millenia of changes and trends in respect to sea levels, ice ages, solar activity, geo-thermal shifts, underwater unknowns, etc.

    This world that has produced such wondrous beings, myself included, is an absolute badass – and we are being quite foolish to believe we can “destroy” it as these warnings suggest.

    Granted, nature is precious and we should aim to not abuse our environment – but there is a galaxy gap between that reality and the “climate change” and or AGW hysteria that has overrun the place.

    Anyway, Environmentalism is the new religion and I am a heretic.
    Stone me, burn me at the stake, and crucify me between 2 Range Rover drivers.

    I go to prepare a place for you … in reality.

    Interestingly, the most adamant Environmentalisms tend to be the strongest Atheists as well.
    Little do they realize the very same trick has been played on them…original Prophet and all.


    • West bay Premier says:

      Can any Scientists tell why the water is rising like how it is illustrated on the beach in photo ? I am 73 years old and I have been going to the beach / iron shore for the last 69 years , and I didn’t notice any changes to the water like the illustration in the photo. What is causing this rapid rise in the ocean water today ? Can you please answer with scientific evidence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember that wall of ignorance a previous poster spoke about? Sounds like you fit right with the other bricks.

    • West bay Premier says:

      I asked for scientific evidence, BS .

    • Anonymous says:

      So you only trust the science (millenia of changes and trends in respect to sea levels, ice ages, solar activity, geo-thermal shifts) that agree with your bias?

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t trust the “science” that is pushed by politics, wordplay, manipulation, and money.

        Osmosis and photosynthesis didn’t come with a lobbyist attached.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t really care what earth’s sea level is in 2300. I plan to live elsewhere.

  4. Anon says:

    I love scientific predictions. Was it not last year that they predicted 17 inches of rainfall in Cayman>

    • Anonymous says:

      I predicted some idiot would write something stupid rather than seeing the facts that the seas are rising. Ask people in Miami and other east coast towns. Ask the Dutch, the British, the Maldives…but no you just go spout sh*t

  5. Anonymous says:

    BS… I have heard this for the last 30 years…

    • Diogenes says:

      As fluids warm they expand to take up more space, thermal expansion
      This is an indisputable fact, it is something you can test in your own home

      Even if you don’t want to believe that climate change is real, why would you risk it somewhere like Cayman, where a few feet makes the difference between above and below sea level (or actual water)

      Good luck though

      The right’s war on information and education continues

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said.
        As a Physics teacher of 20 years it saddens me how little understanding people have. I must take some share of the blame for this failure in global education.There is zero scientific debate that co2 in the atmosphere leads to warming. Zero debate that ice melts and warm water expands. That increased heat energises storms. None, not any. These are simply physical realities. The only debate is how soon it gets to catastrophic failure…

  6. Anonymous says:

    good ting I dun start build my submarine bobo

  7. Anonymous says:

    simple question for cig…how much have sea levels risen in cayman in the last 25 years?
    if you can’t answer…resign now.

  8. Vatic Inator says:

    You’ve got no more 60 years – perhaps a lot less. The trouble is that no one will be able to sell up and leave because properties will be unsaleable. But there is hope.
    Now is the time to start building defences. It will be cripplingly expensive and sacrifices will have to be made.
    It is possible but preparations must start now.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘Soft defences’ (building higher, with greater coastal setbacks, and more coastal vegetation) are cheaper than ‘sea defences’.

      • Vatic Inator says:

        The projected rise due to the thermal expansion of the oceans in the next 80 years is between 0.3 and 2.0 metres.
        “Soft defences” would offer no protection whatsoever to a rise at the upper end of that projection.
        But if it gives you some comfort – dream on.

        • Anonymous says:

          So you build on the land side of West Bay Road, for example, raising the road and leaving the sea side nothing but beach and sea grapes. Its going to be more economical (can be done incrementally and keeps tourism product for as long as possible) than building a sea wall along seven mile beach. Thanks for proving my point.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m figuring 6ft rise in 2100. (Sorry grand-kids.) But I also figure the top of public beach (though I haven’t been there since Dart so maybe its changed) is about 5ft above sea level. So, yes, retreating and raising buildings/infrastructure should work in the Cayman islands. Obviously some areas will be different. The airport will probably have to move, for example. (Or be significantly raised.) But that’s got to be cheaper for the country than building a wall round all three islands. (And you’d either have to make the wall tall enough to withstand storm surge, or put pumping in place behind it, or build the protected buildings high enough to accommodate the storm surge over-topping the sea wall every few years. So might as well just build them further inland and a higher and save yourself some money in wall costs)

  9. Eklund says:

    No worries – everyone can live on the old Mount Trashmore and new Mount Dartmore. There’ll be room for all!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well that renders the debate about beach access pointless…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just think, you’ll have fish right at your door step.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mostly with great big teeth and not very friendly. Come to think of it, we have that already. On land.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well looks like I’ll be selling my property sooner than later and vacating to the UK. CIREBA can’t be happy with this report ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    We better add some taxes that will help maybe tax the volcanos and the poor first. All these scientists are just paid shills time will tell

  14. Anonymous says:

    maybe dart will put all of our homes on stilts for us……

    • Anonymous says:

      Not his job. CIG’s job. Are you the idiot who eternally thinks Dart should pay for everything so CIG can squander the taxes they collect? Get an education.learn how it works.

  15. Anonymous says:

    i have been here for 20 years and have never heard this mentioned once by a politician or any of the nonsense radio talk show hosts……
    yet miami has been aware of this has been tackling the issue for decades!

    • Anonymous says:

      One more reason not to invest in real property and just rent.

    • Anonymous says:

      How would you propose our local politicians tackle this issue? Anything we do from an environmental standpoint here will have little to no impact on climate change. I’m not saying it isn’t the right thing to do, but the reality is our tiny island/government can’t stop the seas from rising.

      What is it that Miami is doing to tackle this issue? Would those solutions even work here? Lets not forget that Dart tried to break a little ocean rock and he was persecuted by every environmental group on the island. If you’re proposing we start building levies and canal systems…good luck with that!

      • Anonymous says:

        Build higher, set further back, with more vegetation between you and the sea. – As for Miami, their adaptation, which we could mimic here, is to rebuild their infrastructure higher and plan drainage swales rather than just relying on deep wells. Its about planing at the scale of a ‘drainage basin’, e.g., the SS swamp (that remains) or the Savannah Gully, rather than at the level of every condominium complex and house lot. Not that you can’t keep building condos and houses (that won’t fly in Miami or Cayman) but that you plan for the occurring changes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t you raise it? Politicians make laws they aren’t superheroes

      • Anonymous says:

        They are not even attempting to recognize that there is an issue. In my book that makes them super halfwits.

  16. Anonymous says:

    can’t wait for the trumpesque nonsense the compass have in their editorial about this….

  17. Anonymous says:

    meanwhile caymanian politicians willc ontinue to stick their heads in the sand….

  18. Anonymous says:

    In Cayman we are protected by god. So no worries.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Not going to happen here, that big wall of ignorance will hold back the seas.

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