Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sea Level Rise Forecasts to Go Up, Way Up

It will be another four years before the IPCC releases its next landmark report but the word is already out that it will contain a big increase in sea level rise forecasts for this century. The last IPCC assessment warned of possible sea level rise of up to a couple of feet before this century is out. Like virtually every other assessment by this highly conservative group, subsequent data is showing that was seriously understated. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Panel members, including [IPCC vce-chairman] Dr van Ypersele, met in Kuala Lumpur last week to discuss the consideration of the new Greenland and Antarctic data for the next report. Analysis of the reduction of the two major ice sheets will be a main focus of the next report.

''The reason there was a workshop in KL is that the IPCC knows very well this is an area that needs particular attention and where a lot of progress has been made,'' Dr van Ypersele said.

''There are a lot of satellite data that was not available for the fourth assessment report that will be available for [report] five … which are starting to show, but are quite convincing I must say, that both the Greenland ice sheet and the Antarctic ice sheet are losing net mass, not on the margins, but as an ice sheet [as a whole].''

Every time I read one of these reports I wonder when Canada's political class is going to take global warming seriously - make that "responsibly" - and at least begin the planning necessary to help our people adapt to what's coming. With two committed Oilheads camped out in the government's two, rent-free leaders' accomodations, it's probably not worth while to expect them to take any meaningful action to decarbonize Canada's economy and our society but at least those tools could start preparing us to meet what's coming.

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