New Sea Level Predictions: Three Feet Higher by 2100 and Rising
As The New York Times reports, the glaciers are melting faster than previous models predicted, and consequently, scientists are revising their ideas about the rise of the sea level.
As a result of recent calculations that take the changes into account, many scientists now say that sea level is likely to rise perhaps three feet by 2100 — an increase that, should it come to pass, would pose a threat to coastal regions the world over.
And the calculations suggest that the rise could conceivably exceed six feet, which would put thousands of square miles of the American coastline under water and would probably displace tens of millions of people in Asia.
The scientists say that a rise of even three feet would inundate low-lying lands in many countries, rendering some areas uninhabitable. It would cause coastal flooding of the sort that now happens once or twice a century to occur every few years. It would cause much faster erosion of beaches, barrier islands and marshes. It would contaminate fresh water supplies with salt.
More frequent floods and an encroaching sea aren't going to be fun. And getting people motivated to get in front of these problems is hard because the consequences of climate change creep up so slowly. You can keep insisting the floods are just part of some natural cycle right up until you (or your constituents) are being evacuated.
Via Matt Yglesias