Good news, but remain very afraid.

It seems that the predicted sea level rise from melting Antarctic ice was vastly overestimated:

According to a study by a team of researchers from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the much-feared collapse of the WAIS could cause a 9-ft. rise in the planet’s seas and oceans, laying waste to coastal lands and immersing some nations entirely. That’s a doomsday scenario by most measures — until you consider that the prevailing theories had put the increase at a staggering 15 ft. to 35 ft.

Quite the pleasant difference, and good news, but we are still warned to be very afraid. That’s because all of that water from the melting ice in Antarctica is apparently going to miss Africa, South America, and Australia, and head straight for the US:

The complicated workings of planetary physics would cause seas to rise unevenly, and the Atlantic and Pacific shorelines of North America would be harder hit by an Antarctic thaw than perhaps any other place in the world.

Hmmm. The rise has been scaled back to about a quarter of so of the original estimate. Could there be any chance that the new estimate to too high? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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One thought on “Good news, but remain very afraid.

  1. During the last warm interglacial period (a mere 120,000 years ago) sea levels peaked at about 6m above today’s levels. I suspect humans had little to do with that, so it’s not unreasonable to expect at least the same peak, before heading into the next glacial period (predicted at 50,000 years). Also interesting to note that during the glacial maximum sea levels were 130 m below current levels. It doesn’t seem surprising we are still rising (1.8mm/yr) as we continue to warm!

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