Climate Change Myth #011:
“What’s the big deal so the ocean has risen a few centimeters, it won’t affect anything”
In the last 100 years the sea levels have risen about 1.7 mm per year and the rate has been increasing. Even a 1/3 of an inch (1 cm) increase can cause 3.2 feet (a meter) worth of erosion to coastlines.
Also global sea level rose about 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century. See “A 20th century acceleration in global sea level rise”, published in Geophysical Research Letters (2006).
A NASA-funded 20-year satellite study indicate accelerating ice loss in both Greenland and Antarctica. Details published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Details can be found at: NASA Finds Polar Ice Adding More To Rising Seas
An IPCC Workshop on Sea Level Rise and Ice Sheet Instabilities (21–24 June 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) gave a worse case scenario that just the melting in Antarctica could add another 2.5 feet (75 cm) equivalent sea level rise in one century.
There are many places where mean sea levels are rising significantly faster than global average rates for instance such as the Gulf of Thailand (4.0 mm/y) and Diamond Harbour (Kolkata) in India, shows a trend of about 5.74 mm/year.
If all the ice in Greenland melts that will raise sea levels by 21.3 feet (6.5 meters), and if the ice in Antarctica melts that would increase ocean levels by 239.8 (73.1 meters) so in total they would increase ocean levels by 261.1 feet (79.6 meters).
You can download the pdf document: Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise and do the math yourself from the data provided by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center back in 1997, which was intended for Geography or Earth Sciences students in middle school and high school. No math is required beyond basic arithmetic.
Another factor to consider is that of thermal expansion as the temperature increases the volume of liquid water increases, which will cause additional sea level rise.
Kenneth Burridge (Editor-in-Chief of EV.com) talks about myths and facts relating to: Global Warming, Climate Change and the Climate Crisis.
Other Climate Crisis Comments in the series:
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 1)
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 2)
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 3)
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 4)
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 5)
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 6)
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 7)
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 8 )
Climate Crisis Comments (Part 9)