Posts Tagged ‘Current sea level rise’

In a new peer-reviewed scientific study, experts said satellite data show sea levels rose by 3.2 millimeters a year from 1993 to 2011 — 60 percent faster than the 2 mm annual rise projected by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for that period, however  the IPCC was just about spot on with its predictions for warming temperatures.

The IPCC has estimated that seas rose by about 7 inches over the last century, and estimates a range of between 7 and 23 inches this century.  This is enough to worsen coastal flooding and erosion during storm surges and if the impacts of Hurricane Sandy is any indication, will dramatically impact the dense coastal populations around the world.

The most recent IPCC report did not factor in a possible acceleration of the melt of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and “assumed that Antarctica will gain enough (ice) mass” to compensate for Greenland ice loss, the new study’s authors noted, but more recent studies have shown that “the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are increasingly losing mass.”

When the next IPCC report comes out in March 2014, we should expect a more quantitative understanding of ongoing sea level rise — and an entire chapter on the topic —given the impacts on the densely populated coastal regions of the world.

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A Dust Bowl storm approaches Stratford, Texas ...

A Dust Bowl storm approaches Stratford, Texas in 1935. - wikipedia.org

Texas is not immune to the effects of increasing greenhouse gases, according to the state climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon, of Texas A&M University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon also says the international science on climate change is fundamentally sound despite challenges from state officials, and the drought in Central Texas is likely to continue.  Below are excerpts from an interview with the Texas Tribune. (more…)

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In an article by Concierge.com, a travel focused online publication, they selected seven beach destinations around the world in danger of disappearing forever due to forces such as erosion, pollution, rising sea levels, reckless overdevelopment, and sand mining, with a caution that there are hundreds more.  If we don’t curb global warming, insist on sustainable development, and protect the world’s beaches against pollution and mismanagement, the idyllic shorelines we cherish will be preserved only in memory.

Of the seven, the beaches of the Maldives are the most imminently threatened by rising sea levels as a result of global warming.

The Maldives
With postcard-ready beaches, unblemished coral reefs, and some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, the Maldives are for many a once-in-a-lifetime destination. But the island nation’s own lifetime may itself be cut drastically short: Rising sea levels all but doom this string of 26 low-lying atolls in the Indian Ocean, unless the rest of the world acts — quickly — to curb global warming.

With an average elevation of just four feet, the Maldives may, according to some scientists’ models, be submerged before the end of the century. Other coastal geologists believe that the islands, which are composed principally of coral, can regenerate more quickly than the water level rises, and that wave action can build up the islands. But rising ocean temperatures — another symptom of global warming — inhibit coral growth, and few Maldivians seem prepared to sit back and take that chance. President Mohamed Nasheed has committed the Maldives to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral nation by 2020, by building a wind farm to meet 40 percent of the electricity demand; installing 5 million square feet of solar panels; recycling agricultural waste as fertilizer; and asking foreign visitors to buy carbon credits. Valiant as these efforts may be, they are unlikely to stem the (literal) tide, so Nasheed is also searching for a new homeland in case the entire population is forced to relocate.

If you go: The Marine Lab at the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru resort does serious scientific research on marine ecology, coral recovery, and endangered species. Guests can visit the lab and join biologists on dives.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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