Friday, April 06, 2007

Sea level rise map

A cool new Google mashup that allows you to see how different amounts of sea level rises will affect global shorelines. East Anglia, the Sacramento delta, and South Florida are particularly striking.


Robert said...

What's the likelihood of a 7 m rise in sea levels?

purpleprose said...

One data point that is useful is that a 7m sea level rise is about what would occur if the entire Greenland ice cap melted. The West Antarctic ice sheet, on the other hand, contains enough water to lift sea levels by 70m.

The likelihood for this to take place depends on time-frame. In our lifetimes, the chance of a 7m sea level rise is probably next to nil. The credible worst-case scenarios usually talk about a few meters by the end of this century.

However, in the next few centuries, it is certainly possible that arctic ice melting will continue and accelerate; indeed, it is likely to do so if nothing is done to abate the emission of GHGs, or if we have already created a positive feedback loop with respect to GHGs (for example, by melting the Siberian tiaga thus releasing vast quantities of methane).