Who Will Stop the Ocean’s Inexorable Rise?

In global warming’s parade of horribles, the rise of the oceans occupies a prominent place. So prominent, in fact, that Barack Obama boasted that his administration would be the moment when the oceans stop rising and begin to recede. That would be quite a trick, as the oceans have been rising for thousands of years now.

Alarmists like to talk about the rising tide in part because the image is visually compelling. A young artist named Nickolay Lamm has produced a series of images showing how coastal cities might look in 500 years if sea level rises by 25 feet, as some alarmists predict. Here, for example, is San Francisco’s AT&T Park:

A striking image, but a very silly one. Does anyone seriously believe that in 500 years there will be anything like the present city of San Francisco? Presumably, just as the landscape has been radically transformed since 1613, it will be equally different 500 years hence. If need be, cities will have plenty of time to retreat to higher ground.

At Watts Up With That, we get a more scientific view of the rising-ocean issue. Most interesting to me is the fact that around 125,000 years ago, during the Eemian era, the last inter-glacial period, the oceans did indeed rise to a level 13-26 feet higher than they are today. That was during a time when, for about 6,000 years, global temperatures were around 6 degrees centigrade warmer than they have averaged over the last millenium. Then came the latest period of glaciation, with drastically falling temperatures and, among other things, falling oceans. With the end of the last Ice Age, the oceans began to rise again, and they continue to do so.

But why were global temperatures 6 degrees C higher 125,000 years ago than they are today? Too many automobiles and coal-fired power plants? Presumably not. If the alarmists’ worst predictions come true, in 500 years the Earth will be as warm as it was 125,000 years ago. It certainly could happen, but if it does, it won’t have anything to do with us.

The actual subject of the WUWT piece is the discovery that melting of the Greenland ice cap was far less during the Eemian era than had previously been believed:

Climate models for the future show an annual warming of about 3°C over northwestern Greenland by around 2100, or 300 degree-years. At that rate, it would take 12,000 years to just get rid of about one-eighth of the ice in this core, or about 96,000 years to lose all of it. (That’s impossible because another ice age will have intervened.) …

Prior to Dahl-Jensen’s study, it was generally accepted that the vast majority of this rise came from the loss of Greenland’s ice….

Thus does one revolutionary paper shoot pretty much the entire global warming sea-level catastrophe—the one worth being concerned about—through the heart. Antarctica is so cold that it is projected to gain ice in the coming century, as slightly increased precipitation—which may have recently been detected—falls as more snow, which compacts into more ice.

This puts any sea-level crisis out in the hundreds-of-years realm, at least, and probably far beyond our current era of burning hydrocarbons for energy and heat. In other words, forever.

Science is shooting down the alarmists’ hysteria on pretty much a daily basis.

Recommend this Power Line article to your Facebook friends.

Responses