Burn all the fossil fuels and start treading water?

Another scare cloaked as science comes from estimating sea level rise caused by burning all the fossil fuels and melting the Antarctic.  200 feet SLR in a 1,000 years.  The New York Times has an article based on a paper published Friday in Science Advances studying what just might happen if we burned all the fossil fuels.  The result is sea level rise of a foot per decade and a total of 200 feet in 1,000 years.  We melt half of Antarctica in the next 1,000 years, causing major disruptions in human society because of coastal city evacuations.  I assume because humans are unable to adapt to any changes over 1,000 years.  The paper is from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.  The Times article starts with a photo of an Antarctic glacier calving so we can see this is already really happening.

The scientific study uses models and looks at various scenarios of carbon 100 to 12,000 gt.  I think the current estimate is about 40 gt.  How long do we get to burn all the fossil fuels?  What quantity of fossil fuels is “all” fossil fuels?  The study doesn’t say.  It just follows a logistical equation, which is referenced if you are really interested.  So we have some amount of fossil fuels burned at some rate not really disclosed that will cause sea level rise to increase by a factor of 10 causing coastal areas and low-lying plains to go under water.  I suppose if you write for the Times, you aren’t bothered by someone throwing out numbers tht sound linear but obviously are not.  Neither do you, or the authors, seem to be bothered too much about the time frame.

As far as the science in this study, I wonder how close the expert modelsI could come with my trusty Post DeciTrig, a number two pencil and some of the stash of envelopes I have.  Is it really science when you can’t quantify the amount of fossil fuels to be burned, the time frame for burning them or the results from any portion of the purported increase?  Just in time for the next round of climate negotiations.

Advertisements

One response to “Burn all the fossil fuels and start treading water?

  1. If global temperature drops 3-4C, DC & San Fransisco may be under 1,000 feet of ice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s