Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: 6 meters of SLR?  (Read 27645 times)

Vergent

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 2

Neven

  • Administrator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7861
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 1149
  • Likes Given: 557
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2015, 12:20:47 AM »
I'd be clicking those links if this were a comment in one of the various discussions on SLR.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Vergent

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2015, 01:09:38 AM »
Quote
A new review analyzing three decades of research on the historic effects of melting polar ice sheets found that global sea levels have risen at least six meters, or about 20 feet, above present levels on multiple occasions over the past three million years.

What is most concerning, scientists say, is that amount of melting was caused by an increase of only 1-2 degrees (Celsius) in global mean temperatures.

Results of the study are being published this week in the journal Science.



Neven,

The article is about an article in the Journal Science that documents the 3 million year relationship between global temperatures, CO2, and sea level. It is a major departure from past estimates. While, it mentions Antarctica and Greenland, it is not about them.

Verg

Neven

  • Administrator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7861
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 1149
  • Likes Given: 557
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2015, 11:53:18 AM »
Thanks, Verg. Looking more tempting now.  :)
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2015, 12:14:56 PM »
cheap beachfront-property...

Just need to find a proper hill inland and predict erosion properly.

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19241
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2136
  • Likes Given: 264
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2015, 04:23:39 PM »
cheap beachfront-property...

Just need to find a proper hill inland and predict erosion properly.

plinius,
 
You had better also detach yourself from all modern economic support, as a 6m eustatic SLR would likely collapse our already delicate global socio-economic system (which is so fragile that it cannot yet afford to invest properly by internalizing within the cost of its commodities the future cost of climate change impacts).

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Vergent

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 573
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 05:18:27 PM »
AbruptSLR,

Kudos, this article validates everything you have been communicating on the Antarctica thread. Further, your work gives us a possible time scale.

Verg

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2015, 05:28:39 PM »
cheap beachfront-property...

Just need to find a proper hill inland and predict erosion properly.

plinius,
 
You had better also detach yourself from all modern economic support, as a 6m eustatic SLR would likely collapse our already delicate global socio-economic system (which is so fragile that it cannot yet afford to invest properly by internalizing within the cost of its commodities the future cost of climate change impacts).

Best,
ASLR

Not sure we are staying on-topic with this, but since the sea level rise is not very fast in economic terms, what will happen is "just" a few deaths, people in poverty losing everything they have and desolation of entire cities like Miami (which I suspect has about 50 years of existence left). Typically just the poor population dies (see New Orleans), the upper layers have the resources to run.
We have seen faster declines of metropoles due to pure economic factors (see deserted Detroit), and such slow movements will typically not produce an acute economic crisis. Concerning countries like Bangladesh, etc.. Well, western nations (in particular in Europe) have a long and proud history of finding ways to drown refugees in the Mediterranean or letting them starve at closed borders (or to just watch them starve locally in famines, we prefer building tanks instead of infrastructure in poor countries)... so, human catastrophe, rather yes, very possible, upsetting and sad. Destruction of the socio-economic system. Suspect rather not. It will adapt.

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19241
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2136
  • Likes Given: 264
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 06:32:49 PM »

Not sure we are staying on-topic with this, but since the sea level rise is not very fast in economic terms,...

Before you ASSUME that sea level rise will occur slowly, you should review some of the discussion about the risk of abrupt sea level rise that could occur faster than the global socio-economic system could adapt, such as presented in the following link:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,874.350.html

Ignoring the fat-tailed risks of Abrupt SLR is not the same thing as addressing this issue.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2015, 11:38:11 PM »
well, I am personally expecting >= 1m until the end of this century. To destroy a metropole on the sea you need 50cm or more. Takes a while even if you have an "aprupt" change. Systems of the size of Thwaites or PIG still need decades to slide into the ocean. And for us this is expensive and painful, but civilizations fall when there is not enough food for the masses, not when you destroy/drown a couple of cities.

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2015, 02:42:58 AM »
cheap beachfront-property...

Just need to find a proper hill inland and predict erosion properly.

plinius,
 
You had better also detach yourself from all modern economic support, as a 6m eustatic SLR would likely collapse our already delicate global socio-economic system (which is so fragile that it cannot yet afford to invest properly by internalizing within the cost of its commodities the future cost of climate change impacts).

Best,
ASLR

6 meter SLR and you can pretty much kiss transoceanic world trade goodbye. There will not be a functioning port on the planet.

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2015, 03:01:25 AM »
building a new port takes about 5 years. Apart from that many ports have a serious problem with sediment. Kind of a solution for this...
Climate change is bad, but I think a differentiated view helps in particular when you are facing pseudoskeptics. Worse for trade might be half a billion climate refugees. The current crisis on the European borders is peanuts compared to what will happen there.
I'd also say - worry about people dying in Bangladesh, oceania, south east asia, etc., but not about if there will be enough ports.

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3342
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 612
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2015, 01:36:44 PM »
The folks contemplating putting a damn across the strait of Gibraltar to save ports and coastlines obviously think that it's kind of a big deal to lose a port.

But yeah, as we are already seeing, hordes of refugees are going to be the more quickly destabilizing force.

The thing about slr is that it's consequences is like 'annoyances' (as they say now in Florida)...a washed out coastal road here, salt-water intrusions there...until there is a sudden massive event beyond anything the planners had imagined--think Katrina, Sandy and Haiyan.

We are going to start having one of those (or worse) about every year (or more), suddenly wiping out ports, cities, provinces in a flash as the storms get ever more massive and powerful.

Even some of the most dramatic SLR numbers can lull one into a sense of complacency..."We'll just gradually move away from the gradually rising sea." But many, probably most, places that's not how it's likely to play out.

We are also in an energy and resource constrained world, and heading into an even more constrained one (especially if we finally take seriously the need to stop burning any more ffs and to stop making any more machines or plants that burn ffs.

That will make it more and more difficult to just knock together major new ports in a few years every time we need one.

ETA:

“A 1-metre rise in global sea levels increases the probability of what is now a once-in-a-hundred-year flood by 1,000 times in Kolkata, 40 times in Shanghai and 200 times in New York, showed a multi-nation, multi-organization study on risk assessment for climate change”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/4C-rise-in-global-temperature-will-severely-inhibit-summertime-activity-in-northern-India/articleshow/48062025.cms?

(Thanks to todaysguestis at rs's blog for this.)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 04:56:53 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3342
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 612
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2015, 09:42:03 PM »
And right on schedule, rs comes out with: https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/at-least-20-75-feet-of-sea-level-rise-already-locked-in-putting-climate-centrals-surging-seas-into-context/#comment-44609

At Least 20-75 Feet of Sea Level Rise Already Locked In? Putting Climate Central’s Surging Seas Into Context

Quote
“There are some recent modeling efforts that now show you could get a section of the Antarctic ice sheet, several meters worth of sea level rise, to go in a decade. We used to think it was centuries.” — Andrea Dutton Geochemist at the University of Florida.

*  *  *  *  *

Recent reports out from Climate Central and supported by the work of experts show that a sea level rise of at least 6 meters could already be locked in. And as bad as that sounds, a six meter sea level rise from the warming already set in motion by high atmospheric greenhouse gas levels and likely to come from further human emissions could be a best-case or even unrealistic scenario.

To get an understanding as to why so much water may be heading toward the coastal cities of the world, enough water in a 6 meter rise to set off a mass migration of hundreds of millions away from the world’s coasts (just 1.1 meters is enough to flood out 150 million people), it helps to take a good hard look at paleoclimate...
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2015, 03:36:44 PM »
I posted a link to research on some long forgotten thread here about three years ago. The research conducted by civil engineers and commissioned by states in the Northeast (New Jersey and New York if I recall correctly) concluded that an additional 1 meter of sea level rise would render Manhattan's subways and sewer systems permanently unusable due to subsurface water intrusion.  Imagine Manhattan without sewers.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19233
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 861
  • Likes Given: 324
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2015, 03:58:50 PM »
....
The thing about slr is that it's consequences is like 'annoyances' (as they say now in Florida)...a washed out coastal road here, salt-water intrusions there...until there is a sudden massive event beyond anything the planners had imagined--think Katrina, Sandy and Haiyan.
...

How true!  Amounts of SLR the public thinks is inconsequential will cause destruction with a bang, not a whimper.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2015, 04:02:18 PM »
@wili: a) There have been plans to shut Gibraltar for more than 100 years and we do have the technological means to do so.
b) It is simply cheaper than rebuilding major parts of the mediterranean coastline.

Agreed about the storms, though again - they do not wipe out the existence of metropoles. Costly, painful, many lives lost, yes.  But metropoles like New Orleans die out slowly. So as said before, human lives lost (that's the worst), some costly events, poverty line for many people, but the general socioeconomic structure can be rebuilt, as it is a pretty gradual process.

And @Sigmetnow: I am not positive about catastrophe talk without fundament.

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3342
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 612
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2015, 04:54:47 PM »
"[storms] do not wipe out the existence of metropoles"

Perhaps not the storms we have seen so far. But we are going to be seeing storms outside of anything experienced since long before humans civilization began.

But you are right that in the past people have pretty much always been able to rebuild in the same place.

And that is exactly our psychological problem. Even very extreme storms are not likely by themselves to prompt people to rethinking living in the mega-cities positioned along the coasts around the world, or to make policy makers require the movement of major infrastructure to be placed further from the coast.

Since we don't know exactly how fast slr will be, even if they decide to uproot an entire port to move it to somewhat higher ground, how high do you move it? If you move it too high, you're not going to have an effective port any more. If you don't move it high enough, you will have to keep moving it over and over again at enormous expense and disruption, even if you can do it in the (improbably fast, in my view) time frames you posited.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2015, 05:05:01 PM »
"[storms] do not wipe out the existence of metropoles"

Perhaps not the storms we have seen so far. But we are going to be seeing storms outside of anything experienced since long before humans civilization began.

But you are right that in the past people have pretty much always been able to rebuild in the same place.

And that is exactly our psychological problem. Even very extreme storms are not likely by themselves to prompt people to rethinking living in the mega-cities positioned along the coasts around the world, or to make policy makers require the movement of major infrastructure to be placed further from the coast.

Since we don't know exactly how fast slr will be, even if they decide to uproot an entire port to move it to somewhat higher ground, how high do you move it? If you move it too high, you're not going to have an effective port any more. If you don't move it high enough, you will have to keep moving it over and over again at enormous expense and disruption, even if you can do it in the (improbably fast, in my view) time frames you posited.

I am not sure what doomsday books you are reading, but there are certain upper limits to the strength of storms. You just do not get much stronger than Hayan. And concerning your enormous expenses and disruptions for ports... I hope you are aware that we have ports in areas of the world, where the tidal oscillation is several meters...
Somehow people came to the crazy idea to build some of the largest ports of the world there, like Hamburg and Rotterdam. One or two meters of SLR is your least problem in that perspective.
You will also notice that economics themselves shift infrastructure inland when the risk rises - companies will simply not invest in the Miami of the future, and those that would like to cannot afford the sky rocketing insurance premium. I hope you are aware that beachfront property in the US - finance is aware of that this is not great investments any more:
www.economist.com/news/united-states/21579470-americans-are-building-beachfront-homes-even-oceans-rise-youre-going-get-wet

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/waters-edge-the-crisis-of-rising-sea-levels/

They drown slowly and they know it.

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3342
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 612
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2015, 05:28:12 PM »
Thanks for that headline:
Americans are building beachfront homes even as the oceans rise


So I don't know exactly who 'finance' is, but actual people are still building beachfront properties.

You can plan for tides; very, very predictable. Much harder to plan for slr that has a fairly large range of probable rates.

Glad to hear that you are sure that storms can't get any worse than those we have already seen. There is plenty of paleo- and other types of evidence to refute it, but I'd say the onus is on you to support such a claim.

In general, I want to emphasize that we agree that effects on people on low-lying islands and in low-lying coastal areas are the ones that we can know for sure are going to have to move most quickly. But GW generally also increases the levels of unpredictability. Storms are coming to places and at times and at sizes and strengths that are outside of historical norms (especially for those times and places). And the very harsh effects of GW are only starting to get going.

But again, I agree that one of the top priorities should be plans to evacuate people that we know now with pretty close to 100% certainty are going to be in harms way in the coming decades, if not sooner.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

oren

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6962
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2576
  • Likes Given: 2331
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2015, 06:00:42 PM »
I posted a link to research on some long forgotten thread here about three years ago. The research conducted by civil engineers and commissioned by states in the Northeast (New Jersey and New York if I recall correctly) concluded that an additional 1 meter of sea level rise would render Manhattan's subways and sewer systems permanently unusable due to subsurface water intrusion.  Imagine Manhattan without sewers.

I searched this on google and it seems the report you mention included strom surges in the calculation, meaning that with a 1 meter SLR you get frequent storm flooding of subways and sewers, not a permanently unusable situation.

The funny(??) thing was that about 1 year later Sandy hit and caused exactly that which was forecast. So even without SLR things are already problematic, and the response too slow. With a 1m SLR things will be much worse, though I agree that theoretically there is a way to mitigate and protect from much of the effect, at least initially (adding pumps, elevating ventilation openings, adding automatic closures that activate by water, elevating tracks, etc.). Of course the costs are enormous, only possible for areas that are financially strong, and it's an uphill battle all the way until you need to abandon parts completely.

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2015, 06:37:52 PM »
They'll probably have to seal off some tunnels and will lose some parts of the coastal areas. Damage high in the billions alone in New York. The frustrating thing is that the expected damage on the US East Coast is a multiple of the cost of an aggressive CO2 reduction within a decade. Yet, they fail to act.

However, I really think that doomsday prophecies are counterproductive to the just cause. Looking at projected damages in the trillions (what is the value of Miami city by the way?), one does not need to invoke mysterious superstorms human mankind has not seen before... The point is not that metropoles may be wiped from the map by Day-After-Tomorrow-Events (which also means shutting off the rational capabilities of the people you wish to address), the point is that they will slowly vanish, and that is costly (and ugly).

P.S.: Sandy was large indeed, but not worse than a normal, strong winterstorm hitting the north sea. Just people there are not prepared.


Jester Fish

  • New ice
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2015, 10:13:30 PM »
Building a dam across Gibraltar is beyond stupid. Sure you "solve" one problem but create a host of others that could eventually lead to a dead sea.  Without the influx and efflux of water to the Atlantic, I suspect there would be serious biological implications due to changes in salinity, temperature, internal circulation patterns, etc..  Those same changes in temperature (most likely increasing) may lead to worsening weather conditions (more "medicanes").  Back to biology; I am not familiar enough with the Med to know how many species migrate to and from the Atlantic but I suspect it is not trivial. 

 I will try to do some research but again, my gut says very bad idea! :-X :-X

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2015, 10:28:56 PM »
Well, did I judge in my posting if it is ecologically stupid or not? I did not care, because it was not the question. Apart from that, water flows can be mitigated by pumping it through the dam. As there is a net influx into the mediterranean, one could easily afford using some of that energy to keep up the circulation. Does not look beautiful, but fine, losing Venezia/Venice is also not pretty.

Building a dam across Gibraltar is beyond stupid. Sure you "solve" one problem but create a host of others that could eventually lead to a dead sea.  Without the influx and efflux of water to the Atlantic, I suspect there would be serious biological implications due to changes in salinity, temperature, internal circulation patterns, etc..  Those same changes in temperature (most likely increasing) may lead to worsening weather conditions (more "medicanes").  Back to biology; I am not familiar enough with the Med to know how many species migrate to and from the Atlantic but I suspect it is not trivial. 
 I will try to do some research but again, my gut says very bad idea! :-X :-X

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2015, 10:47:13 PM »
Building a dam across Gibraltar is beyond stupid. Sure you "solve" one problem but create a host of others that could eventually lead to a dead sea.  Without the influx and efflux of water to the Atlantic, I suspect there would be serious biological implications due to changes in salinity, temperature, internal circulation patterns, etc..  Those same changes in temperature (most likely increasing) may lead to worsening weather conditions (more "medicanes").  Back to biology; I am not familiar enough with the Med to know how many species migrate to and from the Atlantic but I suspect it is not trivial. 

 I will try to do some research but again, my gut says very bad idea! :-X :-X

Environmentally stupid has never stopped us before.

pikaia

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 75
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2015, 11:11:06 PM »
If you prevent the Med sea level from rising by building a dam then the water level elsewhere will increase even more to compensate, so no net gain and a lot of money wasted.

You would have to allow some water to flow into the Med otherwise it would dry out through evaporation, which is far greater than the input from the few rivers that flow into it.

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19241
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2136
  • Likes Given: 264
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2015, 11:22:15 PM »
While the following linked reference only talks about the climate change susceptibility of the over 600 major ports that they surveyed (see the two associated images) [and note this 2011 report was issued before the NOAA SLR guidance of December 2012 that states that  infrastructure (such as power plants) should be designed for about 2m of SLR by 2100]; none of the surveyed ports are preparing for the risk of abrupt SLR and if the WAIS were to collapse abruptly this century, there would not be time to protect more than a fraction of such facilities.  Furthermore, increases in SLR causes saltwater to infiltrate coastal groundwater for distances of miles from shore, which can both contaminate associate drinking water and can corrode buried infrastructure:

Austin Becker, Satoshi Inoue, Martin Fischer, & Benedict Schwegler (January 2011), "Considering Climate Change: A Survey of Global Seaport Administrators", STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CENTER FOR INTEGRATED FACILITY ENGINEERING, CIFE Working Paper #WP128

http://cife.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/WP128.pdf
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2015, 02:33:10 PM »
none of the surveyed ports are preparing for the risk of abrupt SLR and if the WAIS were to collapse abruptly this century, there would not be time to protect more than a fraction of such facilities.

Well, then either build a new port or restructure the old one. A decade is a lot of time for construction. And ports do not really bother with the danger of their drinking water turning salty.

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19241
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2136
  • Likes Given: 264
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2015, 03:29:38 PM »
none of the surveyed ports are preparing for the risk of abrupt SLR and if the WAIS were to collapse abruptly this century, there would not be time to protect more than a fraction of such facilities.

Well, then either build a new port or restructure the old one. A decade is a lot of time for construction. And ports do not really bother with the danger of their drinking water turning salty.

Funny that the world can't possibly afford to impose carbon pricing because it has so many other competing needs for funds; but somehow in the near future society will miraculously produce hundreds of billions of dollars per year just to rebuild infrastructure consequences from 2 or more meters of SLR this century, not only to rebuild port facilities (including military) but also: camps of millions of displaced people; new farmers to replace all of the river delta lands (Mekong, Nile, Mississippi, etc.) inundated; corroded buried coastal utilities; effected roads, bridges, tunnels, subways; sewer outfalls; cooling water intake & discharge facilities; new levees & dikes; new canals & coastal waterways; defense to accelerated coastal erosion, new flood barriers; new water treatment plants; more military defense in troubled times, etc. etc.

SLR is only one factor that will be stressing our socio-economic system before 2100; but to stop SLR society needs to act faster than it does to control weather changes.  Once key ice sheets pass their tipping points then emission controls and even geoengineering will be relatively ineffective at even slowing the rate of SLR, and will not be able to stop it at all.

See also:
https://www.serdp-estcp.org/Featured-Initiatives/Climate-Change-and-Impacts-of-Sea-Level-Rise
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2015, 03:36:48 PM »
I have never managed to see the competing funds. a) a tiny fraction of our military budgets would be enough for nearly complete decarbonization within years. This is also important, since you would not need fundamentally different resources, just a shift from one application (killing people) to another (building solar panels and wind wheels).
I am not sure if they will build camps for displaced people. Given in particular the attitude of Australia towards people from oceania, I suspect the attitude will be: let them starve and drown. Christianity has interesting ways of justifying such behaviour...

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2015, 03:49:49 PM »
If you prevent the Med sea level from rising by building a dam then the water level elsewhere will increase even more to compensate, so no net gain and a lot of money wasted.

You would have to allow some water to flow into the Med otherwise it would dry out through evaporation, which is far greater than the input from the few rivers that flow into it.

Actually, I see this as a very plausible reaction to sea level rise. The effect would be to sustain Mediterranean sea traffic and trade and tie even more closely the regional economies. It is also a single massive investment that would protect all of the ports and coastal cities as opposed to the very expensive proposition of addressing each specific affected city and port.

oren

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6962
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2576
  • Likes Given: 2331
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2015, 05:20:26 PM »
none of the surveyed ports are preparing for the risk of abrupt SLR and if the WAIS were to collapse abruptly this century, there would not be time to protect more than a fraction of such facilities.

Well, then either build a new port or restructure the old one. A decade is a lot of time for construction. And ports do not really bother with the danger of their drinking water turning salty.

Funny that the world can't possibly afford to impose carbon pricing because it has so many other competing needs for funds; but somehow in the near future society will miraculously produce hundreds of billions of dollars per year just to rebuild infrastructure consequences from 2 or more meters of SLR this century, not only to rebuild port facilities (including military) but also: camps of millions of displaced people; new farmers to replace all of the river delta lands (Mekong, Nile, Mississippi, etc.) inundated; corroded buried coastal utilities; effected roads, bridges, tunnels, subways; sewer outfalls; cooling water intake & discharge facilities; new levees & dikes; new canals & coastal waterways; defense to accelerated coastal erosion, new flood barriers; new water treatment plants; more military defense in troubled times, etc. etc.

SLR is only one factor that will be stressing our socio-economic system before 2100; but to stop SLR society needs to act faster than it does to control weather changes.  Once key ice sheets pass their tipping points then emission controls and even geoengineering will be relatively ineffective at even slowing the rate of SLR, and will not be able to stop it at all.

See also:
https://www.serdp-estcp.org/Featured-Initiatives/Climate-Change-and-Impacts-of-Sea-Level-Rise

You are so right. Funny and sad.

OldLeatherneck

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2015, 06:58:12 PM »
There are several factors regarding SLR that I think are not being adequately addressed. 

The first factor is that I hear and read a lot of chatter about evacuating certain major population centers, such as Miami.  I'd like to point out that there is a very significant difference between evacuation and a permanent abandonment.  For an abandonment to be done in an environmentally sound manner would mean draining all underground fuel storage tanks, capping all underground gas lines, emptying sewer systems and demolishing high rise structures. And that is just a beginning of the myriad of things that should be planned for and funded properly.

The second factor regards preparing seaports for anticipated SLR.  Every seaport has a different and unique surrounding topography.  I've worked in and visited dozens of seaports worldwide.  Those seaports surrounded by mountainous terrain or coastal bluffs may require losing a few hundred yards of coastal infrastructure and having the piers elevated appropriately.  Whereas port facilities such as Houston, Texas and other Gulf Coast ports are a far more difficult matter.  These are areas that are already subsiding and are surrounded by low elevation swampland.  The decision as to which ones to protect and which ones to permanently abandon will not be easy and will be politically charged to the point of civil unrest.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Jester Fish

  • New ice
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2015, 07:00:48 PM »
Plinius- not judging or condemning you for the idea of a dam at Gibraltar - had you come up with the original idea then maybe but I generally don't shoot the messenger.

The issue for me is that a dam at Gibraltar is symptomatic of the human tendency to techno-fix/engineer our problems away.  That's fine for some things but SLR impacts the whole world. 

I am a fish biologist and work with hydroelectric dams and fish passage.  We can't even build dams that provide biological transparency in rivers (one-way flow, two-way movement of organisms), there is no way we could build a dam that would successfully allow two-way movement of both water and organisms that would mimic what occurs now.

The point is that, yes, a dam a Gibraltar would greatly assist with the SLR "fix" for Med. ports but at what cost to local and regional communities that rely on natural resources of the Med. and also at what cost to the ecology.  We have to stop inflicting more damage on the environment in the name of helping ourselves.  It's short-sighted, won't work in the long run and IMO immoral.

These are tough choices, we'll get some right and some wrong.  Let's keep the great conversation going!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 08:13:52 PM by Jester Fish »

Jester Fish

  • New ice
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2015, 08:11:45 PM »
There are several factors regarding SLR that I think are not being adequately addressed. 

The first factor is that I hear and read a lot of chatter about evacuating certain major population centers, such as Miami.  I'd like to point out that there is a very significant difference between evacuation and a permanent abandonment.  For an abandonment to be done in an environmentally sound manner would mean draining all underground fuel storage tanks, capping all underground gas lines, emptying sewer systems and demolishing high rise structures. And that is just a beginning of the myriad of things that should be planned for and funded properly.

The second factor regards preparing seaports for anticipated SLR.  Every seaport has a different and unique surrounding topography.  I've worked in and visited dozens of seaports worldwide.  Those seaports surrounded by mountainous terrain or coastal bluffs may require losing a few hundred yards of coastal infrastructure and having the piers elevated appropriately.  Whereas port facilities such as Houston, Texas and other Gulf Coast ports are a far more difficult matter.  These are areas that are already subsiding and are surrounded by low elevation swampland.  The decision as to which ones to protect and which ones to permanently abandon will not be easy and will be politically charged to the point of civil unrest.

OLN - Thank you bringing this up.  How do you relocate 2.5 million people - and that's just Miami Dade County.  To effectively abandon a city so as not to leave a toxic mess it would have to be done BEFORE SLR has created a crisis situation - civil unrest indeed!

Xulonn

  • New ice
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2015, 09:37:16 PM »
Jester, are you familiar with ecomodernism and it's relationship to AGW/CC?  Ecomodernism is a new concept to me, and I think I am beginning to understand it.  A recent blog post by Sou at HotWhopper disusses it with respect to AGW/CC and denialism. 

The basic premise seems to be that ecomodernists are anthropocentric, and still believe that humans are superior to nature.  Therefore, via the application of modern science and technology, we can manipulate the planetary environment to maximize the utilization of natural resources, ignore nature and biodiversity, and by so doing, benefit modern civilization.

I feel that such a illogical and egotistical philosophy is not much better than AGW/CC denialism.  Rather than refusing to recognize the problems associated with AGW/CC, ecomodernists believe that humans and their technology can rectify and control the situation. 

Unfortunately, I also believe that they will be able to convince many people around the world who are clinging to their desire for a "thriving modern technological society"  that technological fixes are the way to go.  This is what many people want to hear, and the worship of technology in modern societies will allow that to trump efforts to reduce carbon emissions significantly.   Embracing attempts at massive-scale technological fixes (geoengineering) will probably be the final actof futility before humans cross thresholds into disastrous warming and climate change.

We don't know the timing of the approaching harmful effects to humans and their civilization, but sea level rise in the 21st century will probably finally drive the reality home.  Especially when regions and cities are flooded, recognized to be not practical to rebuild, as was discussed up thread, are abandoned.  Associated economic disasters will mean at that at some point, there will not be funds or an economy to deal with the situation.  The ecological side-effects will be large. 

I see a real life dystopian future ahead for humans, including massive dieoffs.  But I also see hope in that I believe the human race will survival and evolve.  There is no way our current civilization can survive, and I understand why scientists such as Jason Box are fighting depression and struggling to maintain their mental health. 

(After Jason's recent tweet about humans being f..k'd if methane emissions kick into high gear, the despair and depression among climate scientists has been brought to light.  And that is a whole 'nuther story that is beginning to surface and be discussed.) 

Pmt111500

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2015, 07:07:56 AM »
I think this discussion needs an image. (yes I've done this over my hometown too, on a couple of higher levels too. (at +5m this place might still function on some level, but at +15m the food production hereabouts would likely collapse, or at least get reduced by 50%, and at +25m we'd be an island (actually 22,5, but does it matter? had to check it, though ))
The surging seas website provides +20 footer maps over US coasts, it though leaves the shadows of former structures in the images so I had to modify that a bit.
Yes the date on the name of the image may be overtly optimistic.


*modified*
But it's of course Florida who will face the hardest losses on infrastructure in these scenarios (in US). The second image is from Jacksonville area. F.e., it appears Jacksonville loses her rail connections northwards for the new bay between Folkston and Hilliard, unless a 5-mile stretch of raised rail line is built and 40km railway moved on higher land. The same goes for highways along the Atlantic coast. The Ocala Aquifer would be seriously threatened if not destroyed by the St.Johns river bay which would be salty. A couple of 10-mile dams might save it for a while. Looking at only temperatures, changes would not amount much, I think people at Tampa live ok.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 10:10:33 AM by Pmt111500 »

Pmt111500

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2015, 12:39:29 PM »
Ah, there's of course the almost all new 'Wilmington Bay', which might give transportation planners some headaches.

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2015, 06:39:20 PM »

I am not sure what doomsday books you are reading, but there are certain upper limits to the strength of storms. You just do not get much stronger than Hayan. And concerning your enormous expenses and disruptions for ports... I hope you are aware that we have ports in areas of the world, where the tidal oscillation is several meters...
Somehow people came to the crazy idea to build some of the largest ports of the world there, like Hamburg and Rotterdam. One or two meters of SLR is your least problem in that perspective.
You will also notice that economics themselves shift infrastructure inland when the risk rises - companies will simply not invest in the Miami of the future, and those that would like to cannot afford the sky rocketing insurance premium.

I am sure you are correct that there is an upper limit to the strengths of storms and, not being a scientist, I would certainly refrain from positing a guess as to what that might be.

However, when you cavalierly toss phrases around like "shift infrastructure inland" or "will simply not invest in.....Miami" or (and I love this one) "building a new port takes about 5 years" it is clear that you do not have a clue how sensitive the global economy is to external shocks. As a University of Chicago educated economist, I feel I can weigh in on the subject.

The past severe winter in the Northeast lowered national GDP in the first quarter by an estimated .4% in the U.S. Please allow this to sink in. Heavy snow fall, a purely transitory event, reduced GDP by .4%! Last years severe weather reduced US GDP in the 1st quarter by 1.4%.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/02/12/winter-snow-weighs-on-first-quarter-gdp/

Losing or having severely damaged a single large metropolitan region to SLR will absolutely devastate the US economy and the effects will be long lasting. Fighting intense battles to mitigate the effects in multiple regions of the nation will permanently alter the economic reality of every single American and, as the largest consumer nation in the world, the effects will be felt across the planet. Now, having the entire planet, many of them far less able to command the resources to effectively  mitigate the effects of AGW, engaged in such an effort and you will no longer nor ever will have a global  economy that looks like the one that currently exists.

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2015, 09:47:23 PM »
My goodness, you really have never studied economics. Cold winters lower the economic output mostly because the construction sector goes to near zero. That is quickly a loss of a couple to several per cent of your GDP. If you wish to talk catastrophe, just show me how real fast catastrophes destroyed the GDP. Not even Fukushima did catastrophic things to the Japanese economy, storms like New Orleans the same. Losses in GDP usually happen, when you have a cold spell (no construction), or some SUDDEN flooding kills your roadnet/inundates construction plants. Those have usually lifetimes of order a decade or far less. So no, climate change will not kill your GDP, just because Miami drowns.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00779954.2014.885379#.VbPknjJ_BTA
Another  reason  that  the  national  income  accounts  will  not  show  much  impact  from  a  catastrophic  natural disaster  is that  production  increases due  to  replacement  capital, disaster  related  rescue,  and  other  factors  associated  with  helping  in  the  clean-up and rehabilitation processes.Hallegate  and  Dumas  (2009)  also  notes  hat  adverse  shocks  can trigger  re-investment  and  upgrading  of  capital  stock,  which  in  turn  can  lead to positive impacts  on  an  economy. In  a  similar  vein,  the New  Zealand  Treasury is predicting that  the sequence  of Canterbury  earthquakes in  2010-2011will  have  a  positive  effect  on  economic activity once rebuilding gets underway (New Zealand Treasury, 2012).
And for your information: If you lose a harbour and rebuild it, your GDP actually rises. Your wealth does not, but that's something completely different (read some Keynes, already he knew that the best way to full employment is to get everyone to the brink of starvation...).

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2015, 09:57:08 PM »
You do understand the relationship between capital (wealth as you call it) and income, right?

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2015, 10:37:36 PM »
Do you have anything to say apart from stupid remarks?

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2015, 10:44:50 PM »
No I get what you are saying but I draw little comfort from your description of GDP (an inadequate measure for economic health) effects of minor calamities like the Canterbury quakes and your then applying this response to the evacuation of Dade and Broward counties in the latter part of the 21st century. I suppose it is true that the 4.5 million residents will command a pretty solid hourly wage filling sandbags as they make their retreat, abandoning developed real estate worth trillions, but those government jobs filling sandbags eventually disappear and the income generating capital in south Florida which took a century to accumulate will not be recreated in the hastily built communities for the resettled.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 10:50:57 PM by Shared Humanity »

Neven

  • Administrator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7861
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 1149
  • Likes Given: 557
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2015, 11:00:30 PM »
Do you have anything to say apart from stupid remarks?

No fighting! Tomorrow is Sunday!
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2015, 11:05:09 PM »
Put more bluntly, there is something fundamentally different about rebuilding a community that has been damaged as this is a reinvestment into the remaining healthy infrastructure versus having to completely replace a metropolitan area that needs to be permanently relocated.

For the next 40, maybe 50 years, southeastern Florida will definitely see growth as a result of the trillions that will be invested to try to save it. This is throwing good money after bad, a waste of money. The current investment in this area of the U.S. should be treated as sunk cost (pun intended). The long term effect of all of this near term GDP growth will be a dramatic reduction of the nation's wealth and wealth (think capital) is where income gets generated.

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2015, 11:15:29 PM »
Businesses absolutely depend on having their capital investments return adequate income. When they  make unsound decisions and invest their hard earned income unwisely, they eventually go out of business.

plinius

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 403
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2015, 12:14:47 AM »
No I get what you are saying but I draw little comfort from your description of GDP (an inadequate measure for economic health) effects of minor calamities like the Canterbury quakes and your then applying this response to the evacuation of Dade and Broward counties in the latter part of the 21st century. I suppose it is true that the 4.5 million residents will command a pretty solid hourly wage filling sandbags as they make their retreat, abandoning developed real estate worth trillions, but those government jobs filling sandbags eventually disappear and the income generating capital in south Florida which took a century to accumulate will not be recreated in the hastily built communities for the resettled.

Please at least try to abstain from nonsense and fake arguments. The valuation of a piece of infrastructure, or a city does not equal the cost of shifting it to a different position.
Example:
Price to build a squarefoot of office in New York: 370$.
Price of the property on the market: 3000$
(or more)
Florida may see some defensive investment. Most likely it will be abandoned. The only recipe for economic disaster would be the federal government stepping in and pumping money into the region. If that does not happen, the defense becomes too expensive and it will eventually be given up. If people know 30 years in advance, the economic impact is just fine. Western economies have a large history of essentially giving up cities, just because their particular resources were exhausted. See Detroit, english coal mining towns/cities, etc. You just stop renewing their infrastructure, move your investments on to better places.
I'd suggest you to start thinking about real troubles instead: How about >100 million people in Bangladesh poised to drown or starve? In particular since we will show no will to help them? That's the disaster. Not some forced structural change in our economy.

To your second point:
Businesses absolutely depend on having their capital investments return adequate income.
What a gibberish! There is virtually no business in the world that has a business horizon longer than 15 years. Which means that if they know they will lose a city in >20 years time, they just move on. For your info - an economics student usually learns to read balance sheets of companies. I figure that you have actually never seen how quickly they write down their equipment...



P.S.:@Neven, I am not sure why you address me, but I suggest you to look who suddenly stopped arguing properly. Though it's quite amusing actually thinks he can tell an economist how to distinguish between capital and income. Dunning Kruger is my favourite.


Neven

  • Administrator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7861
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 1149
  • Likes Given: 557
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2015, 12:25:31 AM »
Oh, why the belligerence, Pliny? Come on, take it easy.  :)
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Shared Humanity

  • Guest
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2015, 01:24:06 AM »
<i>"Florida may see some defensive investment. Most likely it will be abandoned."</i>

Actually both....the defensive investment will be massive and it will be abandoned.

crandles

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2961
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 200
  • Likes Given: 62
Re: 6 meters of SLR?
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2015, 01:42:23 AM »

To your second point:
Businesses absolutely depend on having their capital investments return adequate income.
What a gibberish! There is virtually no business in the world that has a business horizon longer than 15 years. Which means that if they know they will lose a city in >20 years time, they just move on. For your info - an economics student usually learns to read balance sheets of companies. I figure that you have actually never seen how quickly they write down their equipment...

Excelon Corp

Property plant and equipment 52 billion
Depreciation and amortisation 2.3bn

That looks like an average lifetime of well over 15 years. OK choosing a nuclear power company might be one of your exceptions to 'virtually no business' but utility companies and many other types of businesses that don't have nukes will have assets that are expected to last a lot longer than 15 years.

I think you are overdoing it a little but generally I agree with you that the following is rubbish

Quote
Businesses absolutely depend on having their capital investments return adequate income.

If the income is positive but inadequate does the whole world collapse or does the value of those investments fall to a value that the income can support? Whether the company is geared up and goes bust doesn't really matter, the assets are sold on and continue to produce their income.

Quote
Which means that if they know they will lose a city in >20 years time, they just move on.


They will move their long term investments elsewhere but short term investments are likely to continue with a 20 year timeframe - there is still money to be made. Even for shorter term investments, the return demanded for immovable assets will probably increase (less long term upside so more short term upside needed) meaning less investment and the whole area will become run down well before the 20 years is up due to lack of longer term investments. It isn't a good scenario. The odd city, yes that happens and perhaps no big deal but if it is the entire coastline that can be a significant portion of the area of some countries.