Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Future sea level rise under inaction today - the big picture looks ugly

David Roberts has a "big picture" post today, Rising sea levels: It’s worse than you think.

What to bequeath those who follow us?
So, if we f*ck around and allow temperature to rise 4.5 degrees C, by 2300 sea levels could be up to 5 meters (16.4 feet) higher and rising at around 13 mm a year. That will be tons of fun to adapt to for all Earth’s creatures, I’m sure.

Here (Source: flood.firetree.net)  is what the Sacramento valley would look like under a 5 meter sea level rise.  Who will be cleaning up the toxic stuff in garages and industrial parks, before they get flooded?  - since the bulk of the damage will come from extreme weather events amplified by the sea level rise.

Mitigation is preventing the problem, like keeping kids from smoking (video).  Adaptation means trying to adjust to living with the problem, like giving smokers an oxygen tank when they develop emphysema.  Or like mandating wider roads, to help drivers escape forest fires.

Failing to decide to act is itself a decision, whose effects fall on the kids, and on their descendants.  They would tell you "it's not fair" - what would you tell them?

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