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February 19, 2007

Scary, Scary

Once again we get the ice sheet melting statement:

A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world's scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a UN expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss "may no longer be avoided" because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Such melting would raise sea levels by four to six metres, the scientists say. It would cause "major changes in coastline and inundation of low-lying areas" and require "costly and challenging" efforts to move millions of people and infrastructure from vulnerable areas. The previous official line, issued in 2001, was that the chance of such an event was "not well known, but probably very low".

The melting process could take centuries, but increased warming caused by a failure to cut emissions would accelerate the ice sheets' demise, and give nations less time to adapt to the consequences.

Go on, have a little panic there Mr. Mannering.

The important word there is "centuries" and later in the report they say "millennia". So let's take it as 500 years shall we? As noted earlier:

Over 500 years that gives us 19,956. That is, that those facing that sea level rise will be some 20,000 times richer than us. Or if we use the 4% global growth rate, 328 million times richer than us.

We'll let the rich worry about it, shall we?

February 19, 2007 in Climate Change | Permalink

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Comments

Indeed.

And also, suppose the UK has 6000 miles of coast and 60,000,000 people and the waters rise by 1 metre this century. Then each person is going to have to pay for 1 metre high sea defence for a length of one ten thousandth of a mile, which is about 2 inches. And we a hundred years to pay for it.

I think we can stretch to that even on our currently modest means.

"First thing we do,lets kill all the greenies" - Shakespear. King Henry VI, part 2.

Posted by: johnny bonk | Feb 20, 2007 11:23:21 PM

Ooops, I correct my aritmatic. One ten thousandth of a mile is six inches, not 2 inches.

Posted by: johnnybonk | Feb 21, 2007 2:07:22 AM