back to article Burn all the coal, oil – No danger of sea level rise this century from Antarctic ice melt

One of the world's most firmly global-warmist scientists says that even if humanity deliberately sets out to burn all the fossil fuels it can find, as fast as it can, there will be no troublesome sea level rise due to melting Antarctic ice this century. Dr Ken Caldeira's credentials as a global warmist are impeccable. He is …

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  1. Yugguy

    Someone tell the government then

    So I can get the 4.2V8 I really want without paying 500 quid a bloody year.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Someone tell the government then

        > I don't see your problem - if you run one of those things with depreciation and running costs that vehicle tax is just noise.

        OK, I run a 5.0SCV8 rather than a 4.2V8 but I really don't see why driving a more expensive car shouldn't mean that I have to pay more car tax. I don't necessarily like the way the current car tax system works in that I think it promotes false economies (has anyone ever got the quoted consumption figures from an i8?) but if I can afford to put fuel in the thing I can afford to contribute more. Personally I'd rather they just put the whole thing on as fuel duty as that is bloody difficult to avoid and they're already paying to collect that tax.

        I'm sure I'll get lots of down votes.

        1. Yugguy

          Re: Someone tell the government then

          The tax is in the wrong place though - it should be on fuel. If I do 1000 miles a year in a big V8 I produce far less pollution than a salesman doing 50k a year in his 2.0 litre, yet I pay far more tax.

          Tax fuel directly - higher mpg cars will pay less anyway because they are more efficient and high-milers will pay more as they produce more pollution.

          And as I only do 5 or 6k a year I could afford a big 4.2V8, which we have established is what I want.

          1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: Someone tell the government then

            Tax fuel directly - higher mpg cars will pay less anyway because they are more efficient and high-milers will pay more as they produce more pollution.

            So many people have been calling for exactly that for so many years. Reassign the tax onto fuel in a collection-neutral manner (i.e. equal tax take) and you will see more of the money, as there is less admin.

            The only real issues I see come from haulage and similar. I'm pretty sure that haulage co's would go out of business if the tax was just put on fuel, as they would end up paying a higher proportion, so this would need some form of rebate.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Someone tell the government then

              "The only real issues I see come from haulage and similar."

              Even with fuel taxation as the sole source, HGVs would still be heavily subsidised when the amount of roadbed damage they do is factored in (damage is proportional to somwhere between the 4th-5th power of axle weight with velocity adding a multiplier)

              1 20 ton bus carries 40 passengers and does at least 10,000 times the damage to a road that a car with 4 passengers does.

              You might want to think about that when you see hauliers agitating for higher road masses.

              1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                Re: Someone tell the government then

                You might want to think about that when you see hauliers agitating for higher road masses.

                BUT, if we increase the taxes on haulage, the cost of all our goods increases.

                Of course, this neglects the simple fact that more freight should be carried by train, which is a much more efficient and effective method of transportation. This would require huge investment, though, both in the infrastructure and in new warehouses closer to railways, as the rail infrastructure has been run into the ground already, and warehouses are currently located for easy road access, not rail.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Someone tell the government then

            "If I do 1000 miles a year in..."

            You may pay more road tax but he more than makes up for it in fuel taxes.

            As for your engine, a Holden Maloo 6.2 is a mid-size V8. Anything smaller than 5.0 litres is a small one (the only reason there isn't a 454 (7.2 litre) in the holden is because it won't fit).

            (I mention the Maloo because there's one listed in Motor Trader this week)

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Someone tell the government then

          "Personally I'd rather they just put the whole thing on as fuel duty"

          Remember that promise to ringfence vehicle tax for road maintenance?

          Vehicle tax brings in around £5 billion per year. Road maintenance costs £15 billion.

          "Cars are being subsidised" cry the greenies - conveniently forgetting that motor fuel excise duty brings in £45 billion per year (with VAT on top of that along with another excise duty levied for crude oil).

          Now they've made that promise, if the government keeps to it it's entirely possible they'll refuse to fund anything from fuel duty - which means that a promise to ringfence a tax for road upkeep results in a 2/3 reduction in available money.

          Bait and switch? Yup, they're good at that.

        3. Mike Ozanne

          Re: Someone tell the government then

          "Personally I'd rather they just put the whole thing on as fuel duty as that is bloody difficult to avoid and they're already paying to collect that tax."

          Well to be exact the service station owners are paying to collect that tax...The government cost is an inspection and enforcement regime that discourages cheating....

      2. Ilmarinen
        FAIL

        the "precautionary principle"

        AKA doing expensive things with unpleasant unintended consequences, in the absence of evidence of benefit, because we like people to think that "something is being done" about the latest scare (and our scaremongering mates will make a nice little earner from doing those expensive things).

        Also see: "some crimes, terrorism and paedophilia for example, are so serious that mere innocence, or simple want of evidence, should be no defence".

        1. richardstands

          Re: the "precautionary principle"

          So a presumption of innocence flies out the window? The party claiming harm bears no burden to prove his claim? All potential participants must prove a negative (that there cannot possibly be any harm, realized now or in the future)?

          Good luck getting anything done.

        2. BigFire

          Re: the "precautionary principle"

          by its own nature, the precautionary principle violates itself.

      3. Timpatco

        Re: Someone tell the government then

        CO2 is a benign, odourless, tasteless and colourless gas that IS essential to life on earth. but by all means accept the delusion that a fraction or a percentile will wreak havoc - why not? All the other sheeple have.

    2. eesiginfo

      Re: Someone tell the government then

      >So I can get the 4.2V8 I really want without paying 500 quid a bloody year<

      I like this irreverent 1 liner post, because it raises a genuine gripe, and asks the question:

      What is this pain for?

      I think pretty much everybody bought into the 'reduce pollution because it is just crap' argument.

      Cleaner air is giving everybody a better life.

      Ask residents of the developing world cities...... this is the key concern they have.

      Eliminating air pollution would have an immediate impact on the life of the planet, covering all ecosystems.

      But somehow we've been led away from this concept, to presumably believe that by taking pain, we are going to somehow save the planet from rising temperatures.

      This, even though fossil fuel usage is constantly rising - coal oil gas usage statistics are easily available from various official orgs.

      So even if our pathetic attempts at limiting our carbon footprint were successful...... the end result is completely countered by the reality on the ground.

      THIS is an inconvenient truth (amongst others).

      So we witness the plaintive cries of island representitives, exhorting us to change to renewable energies, to save their islands.

      While the simple truth, is that, if their islands are going under....... then they are going to go under.... regardless of whether we make our own 'feelgood gesture'.

      This may be horrifying.... but the truth often is.

      So in saying this, am I being somehow heartless?

      Perhaps reckless, in apparently promoting a 'do nothing attitude'?

      Well NO....... I'm just taking an engineers view.

      .... and more that that, I'm taking a geo-political power-broking view.

      While the UK may have appeared to embrace the new thinking.... in reality all moves were made on the basis of political neccessity, whilst actually being buffetted by the serious business money of the primary energy providors.

      Why do you think that tidal energy lagoons were hampered at every single step from mysteriously funded lobby groups?

      ..... and then, after Russia had achieved its gas supply aims, could then consider military expansion.... and why suddenly Lagoon power began to get approval.

      We should have had lagoon power (to the max) at least a decade ago.... it was a no brainer.

      (this is another subject.... but I can assure you that this is a no brainer - sand cement, rocks and turbines - even the DTI report accepted this was 50's technology)

      What we learn from this, is that Governmental decision making is not based upon theoretical saving of the planet, because the likelihood is that they know damned well that this goal is beyond their power, and therefore, what will happen will happen.

      Ditto that for all governments.

      Add to this, the questionable, yet easy to deliver concepts, such as increased heat melts ice - which is true but...... what are the details?

      ... and we end up with a major proportion of the population worried about 'heat melting ice'..... like as if buying an electric car is going to change everything.

      It won't..... but it did present a useful business opportunity..... just as was the case with the wind generating business et al.

      The only thing that will change energy provision, will be the arrival of 'fusion power'.

      Howver what worries me, are the geo-political consequences, of a militarised Russia without any earning potential, aligned to the complete collapse of the giant polital powerbroking energy providers (particularly in the US).

      THIS is the 'real politics'.

      ...... and regardless of mindless downvotes..... it is the ultimate inconvenient truth

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Someone tell the government then

        Lagoon power, wind power and solar are all greenwash.

        They cannot provide sustainable sources of energy for the UK population and reduce carbon emissions by more than 10% on existing consumption.

        When you factor in electric heating (gas/oil heating will be verboten eventually) and electric cars (for the same reasons) then you need to handle demands at _least_ 5 times higher than they are now.

        Trying to go low/no carbon on those sources is simply impossible without killing off a substantial chunk of the population and/or reducing to a subsistence lifestyle.

        1. eesiginfo

          Re: Someone tell the government then

          >Lagoon power, wind power and solar are all greenwash.<

          While it is evident that land based wind power is overwhelmingly an inefficient, polluting, waste of resources, the same certainly can't be said of lagoon power, or solar power (in sun drenched regions).

          While the latter is probably less relevant to the the UK; this technology is still being developed, with increasing conversion rates.

          Mass produced new build, and replacement roofing systems, reduce the energy production implementation costs, as a substantial chunk of the costs is anyway required for a new roof.... or consider totally unproductive desert regions, converted to energy production.

          It's just a high tech version of the Greek water tank painted black, that produces a large quantity of hot water at the end of the day, for free.

          For the UK, energy production from lagoon power can provide a huge proportion of the UK energy needs..... with electricity generation being calculated to the minute of every day, for thousands of years.

          While actual percentages (of consumption) vary according to growing demand..... maximum implementation, at the time of the DTI studies put those percentages in the region of 20 - 25%.

          Energy costs were the lowest of all sources..... but were artificially raised, because the nuclear lobby complained that they had to provide a 'dismantling bond', therefore so too should the lagoons... even though the lagoon materials would simply return naturally to the sea from whence they came.

          While the flora and fauna would change in that specific area..... so what?.... Life would adapt, with winners and losers.

          Overall, the argument for lagoons isn't a green argument..... it's just a sensible use of natural resources, taking advantage of the enormous power availability provide by the moon's gravitational force.

    3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      All modeling is rubbish

      Why does anyone put any faith into any of them?

      1. Timpatco

        Re: All modeling is rubbish

        Because "baa, baa baa"

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: All modeling is rubbish

        World population growth (humans) will bugger the planet before the CO2 has a chance to.

  2. Fraggle850

    Bugger, so much for my plan...

    ... to turn my beloved Birmingham into a tropical archipelago by burning as much petrol as I can. Bloody scientists. Where's my justification for driving inefficient old lardy gas guzzlers to the red line in every gear now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bugger, so much for my plan...

      " to turn my beloved Birmingham into a tropical archipelago"

      Knowing Birmingham, you'll probably get the tropical storms and the pirates, not the beaches and the rum.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: Bugger, so much for my plan...

      "Where's my justification for driving inefficient old lardy gas guzzlers to the red line in every gear now?"

      Because it's a bit of a giggle?

      That's my excuse for checking my revlimiter on every upshift and overtaking when any safe/practical opportunity arises.

      Compared to industrial pollution (of any stripe), all the petrol powered cars in the world are a drop in the ocean. I believe that there is a stat out there that suggests that the fifteen largest ships in the world pollute more than every car on the planet combined.

      OK, doesn't help local air pollution, but modern engines are already most of the way there (petrol engines at least - diesels have long been known to be seriously nasty in air quality terms but there was never political will to do anything about it for reasons that escape me) and electric cars are coming on-stream faster and faster - even Porsche recently announced a concept for a fully electric saloon; and Porsche tend to turn their concepts into realities (See Boxster, 918) so we're getting there...

      Steven R

      1. Fraggle850

        Re: Bugger, so much for my plan...

        Yeah, the grin factor is my real reason, naturally (and preferably with the drive wheels at the back)

        I remember a government TV ad a while ago suggesting that we could save the planet if we all walked instead of taking the car, can't remember the details but I did challenge them on the truth/usefulness of the ad, digging up some stats and doing the maths to prove how ineffectual their suggestion actually was. The ad was dropped before I got a (bullshit) reply.

        'rev limiter' - I think that is when my good lady is sitting in the passenger seat but I've a friend who swears that it actually means when the valves start bouncing (old-skool '80s bikes, gotta love 'em!)

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: Bugger, so much for my plan...

          Ah, valve bounce, the *real* rev limiter.

          I find it's valuable to check the car revs to the limiter; a friend of mine didn't realise his head gasket had gone. Had he actually used the entire rev range once or twice a day, he might have spotted the complete lack of power above 4000rpm.

          Instead he got a warped head from driving with no coolant till the car just stopped. Woops.

          Oh well!

          Steven R

          1. Fraggle850

            Re: Bugger, so much for my plan...

            Most people don't seem to realise that there's a whole world of fun/revs beyond the lower 3rd of the rev range. I've had BMWs that didn't really light up until you hit 4k.

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: Bugger, so much for my plan...

              These are typically the sort of people who overtake in 5th.

              Not realising they could overtake a lot faster, and thus more safely (as you should spend as little time in the oncoming lane as possible) if they dropped two cogs before pulling out.

              Mind you, I showed a mate how to use the powerband of his Mondeo properly a couple of years ago - he was actually *scared*. I wasn't doing anything outlandish, just accelerating up to 70 on a slip road, but he thought the engine was going to explode and grabbed the steering wheel.

              Suffice to say harsh words were had on the subject of his knowledge of road safety....

              1. Fraggle850

                Re: Bugger, so much for my plan...

                Is your mate one of those suicidal nut jobs who dawdles along the slip road at about 40mph waiting for the traffic to stop and let them in before pulling across anyway when they run out of slip road?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eh?

    Now I'm pretty agnostic about this MMGW thing but...

    The author appears to have taken a figure of 8cm for ice loss (figure S2) and deemed this is directly proportional to an 8cm rise in sea levels?

    That does not make any sense, in fact little in the paper seems to corroborate this article and vice versa?

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Eh?

      > in fact little in the paper seems to corroborate this article and vice versa?

      Indeed, and completely unsurprising with a L. P. article. Here is the BLOODY ABSTRACT: "The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil fuel emissions of 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 m per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West and East Antarctica results in a threshold increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources."

      Just HOW does that translate into the article?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        Translation 1: Burn all the fossil fuels as fast as we can (it'll take centuries or millenia).... and in 100 years, no major sea level rise. 1,000 years, 90' rise. 2,000 years or so, 180' rise. So that's extremely bad, but no problem whatsoever for today's voters.

        Translation 2: Screw you, future people! Burn ALL the things!!!

      2. Paul Shirley

        Re: HOW does that translate into the article?

        Lewis is simply relying on the observation that "believers" on both sides won't bother reading the sources. It's almost pointless arguing with believers because their belief is religious (as i believe Lewis managed to point out a few weeks back, overlooking what it said about his own faction!).

        Religious belief is the promise to believe despite any evidence or lack of it. Scientific belief is the promise to follow where the evidence leads. One requires ignoring inconvenient data, the other requires questioning what you believe faced with contradictory evidence. I'm going to put my faith in the scientific version, it corrects mistakes a few millennia quicker

    2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      The caption (not written by Lewis - this will teach him to provide enough context...) reads: "Fig. S2: Sea-level change within the next century. Given is the ice volume change from Antarctica in meters sea-level equivalent within the 21st century." [boldface mine - TFMR]

      Actually, the caption goes on to say, "The values are consistent with the IPCC-AR5 projections for the Antarctic Ice Sheet which range from -6 to 14 cm within the 21 century." Thus, according to the paper, IPCC, and Lewis Page the sea may rise a bit or actually recede a bit by the end of the century. Hmmm...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        @TFMR

        That is a total misreading of the paper and the results. I'm not jumping on the MMGW bandwagon but whereas a sceptical view in science normally looks at all the facts and reasoned arguments there is more cherry picking in this to try to prove a sceptic POV than anything else.

        From a neutral POV (yes, I really am) the sceptics here seem to be the in the 'religion realm' on this one. I was looking to get clarification on something else on this report an dcame across http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise-predictions.htm which shows a sea level rise already in the last 20 years of 6cm. This graph may be bunkum, I don't have the time to check it out, but they say it is based on satellite observations.

        Now it could be that some of the early wild claims by the Global Warming brigade which led to claims that led to films like "The day after tomorrow" needed a sceptic to bring them back to earth and ground them in reality. However having picked to be on the sceptic point of view many seem to have jumped over to the 'denier' realm and refuse to even concede that there may be some issues that need looking at.

        1. NeilPost

          Re: Eh?

          The article glosses over the other effects of CO2 burning

          - Acidification of the seas, temerature rises in the seas and extinction of species and corals, the recently understood effect of oceans sucking up heat..possibly correlated to El Nino effects spitting it back out...etc. the journo must have come from the Daily Mail, or Fox News. Shocking.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          @AC

          Yes, the only problem with your link is that SkepticalScience aren't Skeptical, and it isn't Science. Its a blog setup specifically to promote the authors belief in MMGW: Whether you agree with global warming or not, that's just a fact.

          Check your sources being one of the principle rules of critical thinking.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eh?

            I was referring to the graph, not the blog. I presume they aren't just making up random graphs but I would accept that the raw data could be disputed or the error bars might be omitted. If the graph is in dispute then I would look at the alternative?

            However the graph is corroborated here http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/sod/lsa/SeaLevelRise/ and on Wikipedia (FWIW)

            I would be happy to see an independent unbiased site that provides better data for this, but truly unbiased sites (that everyone agrees are unbiased) are difficult/impossible to find.

  4. Alan Denman

    17cm 20th century 8 cm this century!

    The last refencene to the BBC weather was fake so 2+2 =

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: 17cm 20th century 8 cm this century!

      The 8cm is the contribution from melting of Antarctic ice. There would be other contributors like Greenland, along with thermal expansion that goose up the numbers.

      As pointed out by someone else, the error bars in their paper make the contribution from Antarctica actually between -6cm and +14cm. So even their model shows that Antarctica could actually add ice in the 21st century. Either way, the worries of multi meter sea level rises in our children's lifetime don't seem to be corroborated by their paper.

  5. Tubz

    So FUD and an excuse to raise green taxes and make a select few, very rich !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you read the actual academic article (see the Abstract quoted above if you cannot be bothered) then I think you'll find the FUD is coming from Lewis Page in his continuing attempt to get hired by the Daily Mail.

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        @AC: "If you read the actual academic article..."

        I have. I admit I just read it and I did not go into the details of the Parallel Ice Sheet Model or the GENIE Earth system model (I once looked into that to the extent of the open literature, but I assume there have been significant advances since). So I can't review the methodology, which I would do if I were doing a peer review. I will offer some observations to those who cannot be bothered.

        1. I do not see Lewis making any misrepresentations. He takes just one aspect of the results, and not the main one from the authors' PoV, but his understanding of that aspect is correct. Lewis, the authors of the paper, and IPCC (I mentioned that in an earlier and shorter post) all agree - imagine that! Kudos to Lewis for digging into "supplementary data" - the main paper does not deal with such small scales - a mere century is not worth much attention, after all.

        2. The larger scale (think millennia) Fig 3 provides an interesting reference number: "Between 2010 and 2014, there has been an increase in cumulative emissions of about 40 GtC." [GtC stands for Gigatonne of Carbon - TFMR]. That's about 8GtC/yr during these last 5 years (NB: there isn't much history of anthropogenic carbon emissions). The authors then run a range of models that go up to 80GtC/yr at peak. The burn rate is not uniform, but they assume that within 500 years we will have nothing to burn, anyway (this is me being Lewis-y, apart from the 500 years figure that comes from the paper). To their credit the post-2010 cumulative emissions cover a wide range - they don't just focus on the worst-case scenario.

        3. They make assumptions that the effect will last tens of thousands of years. I can't say without further reading how well-justified the assumption is. The justification is based on another assumption that if you pump a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere the mitigating effect of the oceans will be weaker than what is observed. I seriously doubt we know enough of the relevant properties of our oceans to state this as a fact. I suspect it is a result of some other (uncertain) model, but I cannot state that as a fact. I also don't know whether the models take into account, e.g., that the resulting carbon will block sunlight sufficiently to reduce warming (don't be surprised, such things are often omitted).

        4. In any case, they have a very short observation period to get any input for their models, or to estimate parameters. They extrapolate their results to many millennia though. Under their assumptions and models, if you keep pumping 8GtC/yr on average for 500 years (that's 4000GtC cumulative emissions in their parametrisation), the Antarctic will lose a significant proportion of ice, and the sea level will be rising at a rate of ~2m/century for the 1st millennium from now, and slower after that (this is from the same Fig 3 mentioned above). Given that fossil fuels have been in use for a lot less than 500 years and there is no reason to assume they will remain our main source of energy for that long, I am not terribly worried.

        5. This extrapolation does not make the paper completely useless academically, far from that. It should not, however, support any "We are DOOMED, I tell you!!!" screams or used to justify any spending of taxpayers' money beyond research grants that are a drop in the ocean (pardon the pun) anyway.

      2. Martin Budden

        the FUD is coming from Lewis Page in his continuing attempt to get hired by the Daily Mail.

        Actually, that motive does perfectly explain his actions.

  6. Mysterion

    Quote from Dr. Caldeira:

    "We took a model and emitted all of the carbon dioxide available in fossil fuel resources, and that model — which has a very low climate sensitivity, and what I would consider a hyperactive land biosphere — produced 9-degree Centigrade warming globally and 20 degrees around East Antarctica.

    Now that’s 16 degrees Fahrenheit globally, and something like 36 degrees around Antarctica, which could be enough to threaten the ice sheet."

    I think that means it will get hot. And the polar caps would melt. That's enough of a problem for me.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      If it takes 1000 years for it to happen is it still "enough of a problem for you"? You don't imagine that sometime in the next few hundred years technology to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and the oceans might come along that could reverse such changes long before we reach such dire circumstances?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You don't imagine that sometime in the next few hundred years technology to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and the oceans might come along that could reverse such changes long before we reach such dire circumstances?

        I feed my kids nothing but soda and meat pies, because I imagine that sometime in their lifetime technology to magic people healthy might come along that could reverse the effects of such a diet long before they experience any dire consequences.

  7. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    BOE calculation

    Even a simple calculation shows we have nothing to worry about in the next century(1). It's not the CO2 that melts the ice, it's increased heat trapped in the system by GHG, and that comes from solar insolation.

    Using Wikipedia figures for the total size of the Antarctic ice cap(2), and solar irradiation, bung in the latent heat of melting, and a few calculator button presses tell me that even if we had a machine(3) that could perfectly couple 100% of energy coming in from the Sun to the ice cap it would take ~6.5 years to melt it. The relatively weak coupling via atmospheric and ocean current warming is going to be orders of magnitude below that.

    (1) Due to the Antarctic ice cap. Other problems may arise.

    (2) Bloody huge.

    (3) Estimated to require not more than 1 Mt of Unobtanium in its construction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BOE calculation

      Blimey, that ice cap is large! I wanted to see the counter-intuitive details for myself and got the comparable figure of 2.3 years thusly:

      Ice sheet has 2.65e22 g water

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_ice_sheet

      334J/g latent heat of melting water

      http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/latent-heat-melting-solids-d_96.html

      174e15 W solar radiation at upper atmosphere, 30% reflected back to space

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy

      (2.65e22 * 334) / (1.74e17 * 0.7) / (86400 * 365) = 2.3 years

      and very dark years at that, with all daylight being diverted into the big magnifying glass focussed on Scott Base.

      I just can't get over how big that ice cap is - and how much energy it takes to melt water (in fact about as much as then raising that melted water to 80 degrees). It's just the biggest imaginable heatsink...

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: BOE calculation

        "got the comparable figure of 2.3 years"

        Yes, my mistake. I stupidly grabbed the figure for ground level rather than upper atmospheric insolation.

        Still, as you say, the main point is the ice cap is huge and takes an awful lot of energy to melt.

  8. James Micallef Silver badge

    theory vs practise

    Yes, one would expect that humanity as an abstract concept can cope with a sea level rise of 3m per century that the study quotes. However when you get to specifics... most of the affected people worldwide will be poorer people who will get displaced and have nowhere to go unless their respective countries and/or neighbours give them some free land*. Most of them would end up unwanted and rejected by their 3rd-World neighbours and target moves to Europe, US and Australia**. Massive migration could create quite a lot of conflict and headaches even in areas unaffected directly.

    Ah well, perhaps we can relocate them all to the then ice-free western Antarctica

    *and human nature being what it is, I suspect that the reaction from the owners of said land will be 'sod off poor peasant, if you can't pay for my land go somewhere else'

    **much like Syrians fleeing from war are unwanted and unwelcome in Saudi Arabia etc which is much closer both physically and culturally, and end up fleeing towards Europe with some tragic consequences

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: theory vs practise

      Fewer people would be killed and far fewer displaced by the rise in sea level than by a small conflict at present. And while land will be lost to the sea, other land that is presently too frozen to be useful will become arable, so there may even be more land available to live on that there is at present.

    2. Grikath Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: theory vs practise

      Practise is very easy: Do You See the Dutch Running?

      And in fact we don't, we're just topping up our main dikes a whole 40 cm to prepare for the most plausible worst-case scenario for the next century or so. And that's with 1.5 meter safety margin, because, y'know, the important parts of the Netherlands having been well below sea level as it is for ummm a millennium or so, give or take a century. We may have an idea how to go about it. Hell, we copped more than two meters with nothing more than iron age and medieval technology.

      Seriously people.... get a grip...

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: theory vs practise

        @Grikath - having lived in the Netherlands, I have no doubt that the Dutch will have no problems, they have the best water-related civil engineers on the planet, centuries of experience keeping back the seas, AND (very important) it's s rich country that has a specific 'sea barrier' tax that makes sure their sea barriers are always well-funded.

        If you read my post, my concern is not rich countries, but poor ones with large population in low-lying coastal areas eg Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Phillippines etc have 10%+ of population living at 5m elevation or below. China 8%. Closer to home, Egypt 25% *

        Rough calculation is around 200mln people displaced in SE Asia, and 20mln just for Egypt with a 5m rise. Even over the timescales mentioned (approx 2-3 centuries for a sea level rise of 5m), we're talking about well over a million people a year displaced worldwide.

        With an interconnected world and with a huge proportion of our products manufactured in SE Asia, that's going to have a big knock-on effect on rich nations. And the EU is currently squabbling over how to relocate a few thousand Syrian refugees, what's going to happen with a hundred thousand Egyptians trying to cross the Med?

        Luckily, there is time on our side, a couple of centuries *should* be enough for poor low-lying countries to improve standards of living and technical capabilities, stop growing population and have strong civil societies etc to counter the problem. But this is not guaranteed to happen.

        *World Bank site:

        http://wdi.worldbank.org/table/3.11

        (Rather inconveniently the site gives %ages not population but pop figures for each country is available)

        1. Grikath Silver badge

          Re: theory vs practise

          I'm afraid you're not giving people living in those low-lying areas enough credit. Thing is, those areas have a history of regular flooding ( the Nile delta before the Aswan dam was *famous* for it...) and the people living there are used to it, and have developed their own coping mechanisms.

          Even then 5 meters over three centuries is slow enough for "Mother Nature" itself to cope with it. If left alone, vegetation will adapt, there will be some border marshland that will silt up as the water table rises ( all the way inland along the rivers as well..) , and besides things getting a bit more soggy than they used to be, you'd have a hard time noticing it at all if you aren't paying attention. Hell, as long as the Nile keeps flowing there's a high probability that the Egyptian delta will actually turn green again due to the rising water table, and other things associated with it that we actively use here in Holland.

          As for "rich countries" .... the basics of water management and land reclamation are based on stone age technology. All it takes is sticks, stones, and elbow grease. Same thing that built the Great Wall. I think the "poor Asians" are up to the job if they want to keep their feet dry.

  9. Palpy

    Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

    -- if all fossil fuels burned.

    "New work from an international team including Carnegie's Ken Caldeira demonstrates that the planet's remaining fossil fuel resources would be sufficient to melt nearly all of Antarctica if burned, leading to a 50- or 60-meter (160 to 200 foot) rise in sea level. Because so many major cities are at or near sea level, this would put many highly populated areas where more than a billion people live under water, including New York City and Washington, DC. It is published in Science Advances."

    "'Our findings show that if we do not want to melt Antarctica, we can't keep taking fossil fuel carbon out of the ground and just dumping it into the atmosphere as CO2 like we've been doing,' Caldeira said. 'Most previous studies of Antarctic have focused on loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Our study demonstrates that burning coal, oil, and gas also risks loss of the much larger East Antarctic Ice Sheet."

    Linky: http://phys.org/news/2015-09-fossil-fuel-meter-sea.html

    I suppose that the Reg's denialist spin takes a view that hypes short term and ignores the long term consequences? Dunno, and frankly, can't be arsed to double-think propaganda.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

      "

      I suppose that the Reg's denialist spin takes a view that hypes short term and ignores the long term consequences? Dunno, and frankly, can't be arsed to double-think propaganda.

      "

      When "long term" is measured in a thousand (or even several hundreds) of years, it is perfectly reasonable to ignore it. Technology and civilisation will be completely different by that time and so any predictions based upon Man continuing the same sorts of activities and having the same capabilities as we have today are pretty daft. Wasn't it once predicted that London would be buried under horse manure by the 21st century?

      1. Palpy

        Re: Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

        Sure, whatever. However, the Reg presenting the paper as a abrupt about-face by Caldeira is indeed evidence that London is endangered by burial under horse manure.

      2. justworld

        Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

        "When "long term" is measured in a thousand (or even several hundreds) of years, it is perfectly reasonable to ignore it."

        No, it is certainly not reasonable to ignore it considering that global climate change will trigger some irreversible changes and that sea rise is one of consequences, the others being increase in extreme weather events, mass extinctions, etc. That will cost us significantly more than if we take action and reduce green house gas emissions while it is still economically viable. We can be ignorant, plug our ears and sing "La, la, la, la...", but at the end the price to pay will be much higher and what is worse, we will tax our children to do that for us. Very irresponsible!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

          You are correct we should not ignore it. I will make a note to do something about it when it becomes an issue in a couple of thousand years.

        2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

          "

          No, it is certainly not reasonable to ignore it considering that global climate change will trigger some irreversible changes and that sea rise is one of consequences, the others being increase in extreme weather events, mass extinctions, etc. That will cost us significantly more than if we take action and reduce green house gas emissions while it is still economically viable. We can be ignorant, plug our ears and sing "La, la, la, la...", but at the end the price to pay will be much higher and what is worse, we will tax our children to do that for us. Very irresponsible!

          "

          OK, you are right. We are all doomed, and it's all our own fault. Now that's settled, let me see what's on the telly ...

      3. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

        "Wasn't it once predicted that London would be buried under horse manure by the 21st century?"

        I think they just renamed it "Political Rhetoric", and hoped nobody would notice; last time I looked it was getting pretty deep.

        Personally, I blame global warming on air conditioners.

        I am going to propose we build massive GSHP using coils laid out in the oceans to heat our houses during the winter.

        And please remember that global warming (if real), WILL cause an ice age in Northern Europe at the very least, so I may also put in for planning permission for a ski resort in the Chilterns.

      4. Naselus

        Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

        "When "long term" is measured in a thousand (or even several hundreds) of years, it is perfectly reasonable to ignore it. "

        Yes, climatology famously deals in very short time periods. It's almost as quick as geology in that regard.

    2. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Oddly enough, our man also says 60 meters rise --

      El Reg's tame climate denier isn't saying anything new. Wake me up when he does.

      The total sea level rise due to melting all the ice on Antarctica and Greenland has been known for a long time and so has its timing. This says that climate rise this century will be a few centimeters at most, simply because the thermal conductivity of ice is rather low. So, about all warmer winds and water round the icepack can do is melt the surface of the ice a bit faster without having much effect on the bulk temperature of the icepack. The resulting slow melt rate can cause only relatively slow sea level rise for the next century or two.

  10. De Facto
    Happy

    Ant mightier than the elephant?

    No other energy source compares to the energy potential of sunshine. Solar energy is the most abundant energy source on the planet, by far. The world's total energy consumption was 16 Terawatts in 2009, expected to be 28 Terawatts in 2050. Solar energy hitting the Earth surface with potential for renewables is 23,000 Terawatts per year!

    Climatologists, warmists, CO2-quotas merchants and naive politicians turned alarmists perhaps are lavishly paid to do their job, but they can not prove laws of thermodynamics and physics wrong!

    A picture is worth a thousand words:

    http://cleantechnica.com/files/2011/08/energy-resources-renewables-fossil-fuel-uranium.png

    The full article can be found here (clearly not a coal- or oil- industry resource either):

    http://cleantechnica.com/solar-power/

  11. Mr.Mischief

    The problem is

    Most of the climate change deniers will now use this guy as the "even scientists agree that its no big deal" example.

    And any attempts by other scientists to validate his data or offer a rebuttal will be taken as "a government conspiracy".

    We're pretty well and truly fucked. This year we've got the biggest El Nino on record. Can't wait to see how that ends up for everyone.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: The problem is

      This year we've got the biggest El Nino on record. Can't wait to see how that ends up for everyone.

      Good skiing in the Cairngorms, according to the predictions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The problem is

        ...and as a happy accident, a bumper crop of utterly panicked Anti-Denialists...

  12. PJI

    What has America's housing got to do with it?

    Most of the world does not live in the USA. A lot of coastal areas and islands all around the world are vulnerable to very little sea rise, as some islands are already showing. Or is Page saying not to worry, just we should all move to inland USA?

    85 years? I shall be gone but, especially with the increase in Western longevity, my lovely granddaughter, perhaps even my younger children, may well be around then, trying in their old age to cope with some changes on a bigger scale than we are failing to manage now and getting worse at managing.

    Page: go back to university, study biology, climatology and statistics. Open your mind, close your prejudices and get your eyes off USA-centric opinions and developments (hint, Europe, Africa, Asia are all rather big and contain some awfully clever people as well as the usual quota of lesser souls).

  13. Shane 4

    "no sea level rise danger", Says some scientist writing from the safety of Washington, Probably in a high rise building.

    Try telling that to some pacific islanders who are already feeling the effects of sea level rise, Of course there is a danger depending on an individuals current situation. What can be debated is what is causing it but that is not the headline!

    1. Ilmarinen

      pacific islanders?

      "Try telling that to some pacific islanders who are already feeling the effects of sea level rise"

      [citation needed]

      I saw the one where greenpeace or similar had cut down that palm tree because it showed that the sea wasn't rising, and I know about how coral islands are dynamic structures that track sea level - but I'd be interested in any verifiable evidence of scaryness.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pacific islanders?

        I am a pacific islander. I can confirm that there is no sea rise other than the normal sea rise you would expect. The complaints are a scam.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: pacific islanders?

          Weather <> climate. We can measure sea level rise, and it is happening globally. Sea level rise at any one spot is complex, its sea level + geology and coral growth and volcanism and ocean currents etc. Maybe some pacific islanders have complained too much, but then a lot of Westerners have whinged that the slightest increase on fuel prices will cause immediate catastrophic economic collapse.

          How do you calibrate your personal measurements? Do you use GPS? As current sea level rise is measured in mm per year , you must have very sharp eyesight to spot the trend amongst the daily noise of wind and wave and tide.

      2. Amos

        Re: pacific islanders?

        "I know about how coral islands are dynamic structures that track sea level - but I'd be interested in any verifiable evidence of scaryness."

        The warmer sea waters are killing off the corals. Leading to the opposite effect due to erosion. Even so corals grow very, very slowly and it does so after the fact (coral does not grow out of water). Flooding the land with salt water for a century or so is not a great plan for keeping it habitable. Nor is making the volcano underneath the coral produce some more rock (for the smaller islands, Hawaii seems to be doing okay with that approach, but its not an option for the smaller islands.

        The biggest issues are not even about water actively covering the land. The other effects that preceed it are worse - the islands water table is flooded with salt water as the rise in sea level adds external pressure and pushes the clean potable water out. The vegetation that can cope with this salty situation are not sufficient to sustain the inhabitants or most local wildlifes food requirements. Loss of vegetation also opens up land to storms (which have higher storm surges and faster wind speeds now) and erosion dragging it down closer to the sea level where the flooding and water table changes have more effects. Its a vicious cycle from lovely tropical island to sandy desert island.

        Tuvalu started their planning 2001. A decade later the situation appears not to have changed much, but note the context of 0 population growth as residents are migrating away as fast as they can get approved.

        http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2001/update2

        Catarets reached tipping point in 2009 with a forced total evacuation of one island. The others are following with only slightly less urgency:

        http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/first-official-climate-change-refugees-evacuate-their-island-homes-for-good.html

        1. Ilmarinen

          Re: pacific islanders?

          Thanks for the links.

          I do note however that they are both green activist outfits.

          The second link (written 2009) states "The island they call home will be completely underwater by 2015". This doesn't seem to have happened (as is the case with many other Global Warming doomsayings).

          A bit of web searching suggests that the actual situation is a bit different from what you suggest...

          1. eric halfabe

            Re: pacific islanders?

            Try this other green activist outfit

            <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/02/150213-tuvalu-sopoaga-kench-kiribati-maldives-cyclone-marshall-islands/">Will Pacific Island Nations Disappear as Seas Rise? Maybe Not</a>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "no sea level rise danger", Says some scientist writing from the safety of Washington, Probably in a high rise building.

      I can see those jerks now, sneering down at all the peons paddling around their Ivory Island. How can they possibly understand!

      "Try telling that to some pacific islanders who are already feeling the effects of sea level rise..."

      Yes, those simple peoples are more attuned to Gaia than we westerners, and while actual physical problems related to sea level rise have yet to occur, these earthy folk can somehow feel it rising already.

      No that I "deny" that these islanders are claiming rising seas are hurting them, and also loudly demanding economic compensation from the West for all harms caused or alleged (mostly anxiety attacks so far...).

    3. Charles Manning

      re: pacific islanders

      Various Pacific islanders are trying to get The Evil White Man to give them handouts.

      One of the complains is that their fresh water is getting infused with sea water. Well over extraction of fresh water from the aquifers will cause that to happen.

      Once the aquifers become salty the vegetation starts to die off. That causes beach erosion.

      Excessive water extraction also causes the land to subside. That looks just like rising sea levels if you're just comparing the land level to the water level.

      Many islands have fragile eco systems which will get badly damaged by local exploitation. It does not need evil westerners driving SUVs some 10,000 miles away to do the damage.

  14. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "...he's not OK with gas power as an alternative to coal..."

    That policy is ideological and dangerous.

    As an interim step, coal should be replaced with natural gas as fast as humanly possible.

    The windmill folks can try to keep up.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: "...he's not OK with gas power as an alternative to coal..."

      "The windmill folks can try to keep up."

      Windmills are greenwash. Nuclear energy is the only viable way forward without reverting to nearly sackcloth and ashes lifestyles.

    2. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: "...he's not OK with gas power as an alternative to coal..."

      "As an interim step, coal should be replaced with natural gas nuclear as fast as humanly possible.

      FTFY

  15. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Take coal and oil out of the ground and fill the voids with sea water. All problems completely solved.

  16. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Surely he's a boffin, not just a scientist?

  17. mfisch

    I appreciate the diversity of opinion re: climate change in El Reg, it keeps my climate-change believing green heart in check and reminds it to stay grounded.

    That said, this piece lacks almost all journalistic credibility -- this type of piece adds nothing to the debate while sowing doubt with readers who don't bother to connect the dots. The discussion in serious scientific communities has never centered around sea-level rise as a cause of concern, but in temperature itself.

    Ed take note:

    Posts like these make me want to give up on my nearly 15 year history of reading el reg daily.

    The second X axis included in the aforementioned chart (in the middle of the el reg article) shows 8-11C of mean temperature increase over the same period. Yes, it will take a few hundred years for giant ice reserves to melt after it's stuck in the oven, in the mean-time our planet will become a wasteland reminiscent of Mad Max's dystopia.

    For context, a similar temperature rise occurred in the early triassic which turned the planet into a global desert and rendered much of the livable land masses and oceans lifeless.

    https://regmedia.co.uk/2015/09/15/no_problem.png

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_temperature_record#/media/File:All_palaeotemps.svg

    http://www.bitsofscience.org/wordpress-3.0.1/wordpress/images/2012/10/triassic-dead-zone.jpg

  18. FriendInMiami

    Someone needs to explain to the Mayor of Miami Beach

    Over here on the left side of the Atlantic, we've noticed a suspicious bulge in the ocean waters - seems sea level rise is not uniform around the basin, and so this side is going to start going under before your side. Seems academic, might take years - except even now the City of Miami Beach is having to prepare for far more, and far greater, inundations than previously experienced. Can't stop the tide - but they've already spent millions on pumps to push water back out when rains flood the streets. As the tide goes the other way, there is a place to pump water - unless tide and rain coincide, along with a rise in the seas. You see, we have these pesky events, Atlantic hurricanes, that tend to bring in storm surge and torrential rain, all at the same time. And it isn't just Miami - you may have heard what Hurricane Sandy ended up doing to New York City.

    Over on the other end of this country, Alaska is baking, and burning, along with parts of the Pacific Northwest. Soot from fires in the US and Canada comes down on the Greenland icesheet and to a certain extent on the polar ice, and we are seeing faster than ever warming in the warm months, and huge icebergs sliding off to sea. Some of this is likely to affect the Atlantic currents that bring warmer water to England and northern Europe. It will be unhappy news if that Gulf current diminishes because of global warming, but it may. And I do accept that the human activities which contribute to so many kinds of greenhouse gases being emitted are indeed playing an increasing role in pushing our global climate to warm more than it would left to nature. Again, if human-caused warming piles onto an already-occuring natural warming, the net result will be some part of Earth becoming inhospitable to us. Over time, more of the edges by the oceans will be eroded or otherwise off limits to humanity. That will be a great and expensive sadness.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Someone needs to explain to the Mayor of Miami Beach

      You make a lot of sense, a shame those people from Atlantis did not listen to you and stop their global warming practices that lead to their downfall.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Someone needs to explain to the Mayor ...soot from USA?

      Miami? I seem to recall they dump sewage into the Gulf Stream maybe that is causing the increase?

      As for Hurricanes, I recall being told there would be many more and they would be more powerful, meaning even the once small storms would pack a bigger punch by the year 2000.

      I believed it, the scientists said they had proof, and it made sense. Add CO2, heat things up, more energy, more water vapour (a powerful GHG itself) and storms had to get bigger. By 2000 I was keeping an eye on hurricanes, by 2010 I was spending considerable time in their path but it turned out that year after year the predictions where shown to be very wrong. If anything there was a noticeable decline in storms and their strength. Good for me but bad for my faith in those claiming to predict the future with scientific certainty.

      But I post because you notice that Canada and the USA, (North America) are dumping soot on Greenland but failed to notice that Asia (China and others) dumps soot on Alaska, Canada and the Western USA, melting ice and changing rainfall patterns.

      North America has dramatically reduced their air pollution and emissions, particularly when it comes to particulates from the use of coal. Asia on the other hand has effectively ignored any suggestions that they meet similar standards and instead increased their coal use to the point that they are the worlds greatest coal users and emitters of air pollution, not to mention the source of plastic in the pacific ocean.

      If, could's, might's, and maybe's of GHG and their effects can be feared but wouldn't it be better to address known pollution problems first?

      Maybe have countries meet similar standards? Maybe have countries at least try to be more like Canada or even the USA when it comes to pollution laws?

      After all Canada is one of the most sustainable countries, able to feed themselves, take in immigrants and refugees (more than 20% of Canadians were not born in Canada), emitting only 15 tonnes of CO2 per sq/km with huge area's of wilderness to sink that CO2 and leave some room for animals. Canada also has better pollution and human right laws and a desire to improve. A world of Canada's would have less than a billion people, no fear of AWG and be much closer to sustainable, so much so even those fears would not likely exist.

      Yes North America and Europe could do better but they are not the problem, instead they are showing the world solutions. Of course that world does not care and will do what it wants, preferably with other countries money, but such is global politics. We should be able to see past that.

  19. tomgnh

    Nice twisting

    Note the qualifier- "from Antarctic Ice"- ignoring Greenland and glacial ice and thermal warming;

    Also "in this century", ignoring the next.

    A quick check of this "impeccabl[y]" qualified climatologist would quickly show his life's work has been distorted entirely by the wording of this "article.

    Any argument so loaded with qualifiers should be immediately suspect, and in this case rightfully so.

  20. pdq3

    Greenland?

    As others have noted below, Antarctica isn't the whole story here - melting Greenland's ice could raise global sea levels 23 feet by itself. Goodbye Florida and Bangladesh.

    That probably won't happen this century either. But if/when it does, it's going to take a long, long time (if ever) to turn that ship around.

  21. Arezzo

    I don't understand. "Boffin" doesn't appear in the headline.

  22. ReduceGHGs

    Human-caused climate change is reality. One that if we ignore will put our future generations at risk.

    Join the efforts to reduce emissions. Start by helping get the climate change deniers OUT of our U.S. Congress. Apathy/inaction on our part effectively advocates for more of the same destructive behaviors. We can't afford it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course. We need to take action now. All undesirables must be exterminated. I believe Hitler had a plan for this sort of thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Let's start with migrants - oh, wait a mo, that's already planned....

  23. Colin Tree

    You're getting my gander up

    I'm sick and f*cking tired of climate deniers.

    Want to support the oil industry drilling in the Arctic.

    The richest industry in the history of the world,

    and the probable cause of it's impending demise.

    Now that Abbott is gone I might have to come up there and shirt front you myself.

    The Reg needs a good solid kick up the ass.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're getting my gander up

      Do you also support ISIS?

  24. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Earth is a changing thing...

    It always has been and always will be. Plates shift up and down, Islands and continents rise and fall. Over millennia, nothing is static. I'm thinking that a lot of people seem to think that the current map of the globe is the way it always has been and always will be...

    I think a big part of the article was the revelation that here, an acknowledged boffin of Climate Science sees no objection to nuke power. Now if the rest of the rest of the greenies would come around, maybe, just maybe, some positive steps might be taken. This to me, if refreshing news... one mind has changed and might change others.

  25. Curly4
    Happy

    Smart scientist.

    Finally a scientist who should know what he is saying about the rise of the oceans makes sense. Some months ago I calculated the sea rise by finding the volume of ice in the Arctic and The Antarctic and Greenland. Then I took this volume of ice and spread it over the surface are of the seas. I used the formula one volume of ice = one volume of water which it is not the same. I also considered the seas were in a vertical walled container which it is not. The volume of the three ice masses would raise the seas only about 600 to 800 millimeters under these conditions. (I don't remember the exact numbers). However since one volume of ice = only 0.931 volumes of water and as the sea rises so does the surface area. So it is very obvious that the sea rise would be much less.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart scientist - dumb commentator

      You might want new batteries for your calculator. I think you got your decimal place a couple of orders of magnitude off. Total melt raises seas 60 metres, 60,000 millimeters. No one is saying its going to happen anytime soon, but if you cant do simple arithmetic...

      Total not floating global ice volume 24 x 10^6 km2, sea area 361 x 10^6 km2, 24/361 = 0.0665 kilometres of rise = 66.48 metres

      And don't forget thermal expansion

      1. Naselus

        Re: Smart scientist - dumb commentator

        As the AC notes, your calculation was hopelessly wrong - and believe it or not, in the last 200-odd years other people did come up with the same idea. You're not going to disprove global warming with simplistic (and arithmetically incompetent) approaches like this one...

  26. Youngone Silver badge
    Flame

    Wrong again

    Lewis Page likes these stories but he's often wrong

    People in Tuvalu might disagree with Lewis

    The article points out that a tide gauge was installed at Funafuti in 1978 and it has recorded 1.2 mm sea level rise each year since then.

    That's 40 mm or so already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wrong again

      You quote an organ of climate change promotion?

      What about the huge drop in sea level around Tuvalu, and nearby islands, around 1982-1983 due to the strong El Niño during that time?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wrong again

        Basically trying to 'disprove' or 'prove' sea level rise by reference to one island or region is like trying to disprove climate change by reference to the weather outside your door. And yes, El Nino events have effects on sea level, but unless you plan to cherry pick by drawing a trend from the trough of El Nino to the peak of La Nina, or vice versa, they don't affect the trend.

        Measure it at a few thousand spots, fly satellites and measure it across the globe, you get close to something quantitative.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wrong again

        "What about the huge drop in sea level around Tuvalu, and nearby islands, around 1982-1983 due to the strong El Niño during that time?"

        This http://www.skepticalscience.com/Whats-Happening-To-Tuvalu-Sea-Level.html

  27. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    whatevs

  28. XonEarth

    New Data on Arctic Ice Meltdown the Latest 'Climate Siren'

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center found Arctic sea ice this year reached its fourth lowest level in recorded history - Common Dreams

    Arctic sea ice this year reached its fourth lowest level in recorded history, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) revealed Tuesday, in what scientists and climate campaigners say is a disturbing reminder that human-made global warming continues to worsen.

    "The minimum ice extent was the fourth lowest in the satellite record, and reinforces the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent," the Boulder, Colorado-based NSIDC said. "The lowest extent this year, reached on September 11, was 1.7 million square miles. That’s quite low, but still 394,000 square miles above the low extent that occurred Sept. 17, 2012, when ice only covered 1.31 million square miles at the top of the world."

    However, the NSIDC noted an overall disturbing trend: "The nine lowest extents in the satellite era have all occurred in the last nine years."

    Further, in a discussion of the findings, NASA noted on Tuesday: "The sea ice decline has accelerated since 1996. The 10 lowest minimum extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last 11 years."

    Julienne Seroide, a senior scientist at NSIDC, told Common Dreams that "the long-term trends towards less ice in the Arctic is definitely linked to increases in greenhouse gases and a warming arctic.

  29. ImpureScience

    Curses...

    Foiled again. I was looking forward to my new waterfront coop in Manhattan.

  30. camnai

    If he's right, at worst we waste--or more accurately, redistribute--a little bit of money. If he's wrong, a lot of people are fucked. What's good risk management on this one?

  31. Drudgery Leak

    Its heresy I tell you, HERESY!

  32. Olius

    Hahahaha! Oh Register...

    Only you and the DM* could take a fact such as "There can be up to a 100 year delay between releasing greenhouse gasses and seeing their effect" and report it as "BURN BURN BURN IT ALL! IT'S TOTALLY SAFE!"

    It's not even news, we've known for years that some of the effects we are seeing now were caused by the Victorians. It certainly isn't an "admission".

    Well done for hitting a new low.

    (* And yes, I'm ashamed of having to make this comparison. I hope you are too.)

  33. codejunky Silver badge
    Devil

    Hmm

    This paints a very different picture to a drowning dog cartoon because someone didnt turn off a light.

  34. Malcolm Kantzler

    Ludicrous subterfuge.

    It is ludicrous to claim that increased burning of fossil fuels, let alone maintaining the current rate, will pose “no troublesome sea-level rise,” when the results of sea-level rise have already been disastrous and will only get worse, no matter if the qualification of “Antarctic ice” or anything else is attached to it.

    Try telling that to the natives of the numerous Pacific islands which are being inundated or have already been abandoned, or to Miami Beach officials who are hilariously and wastefully spending to put pumps in place to drain overflow Atlantic waters into the connected Biscayne Bay, or the residents of New Jersey who still have not recovered from the record surge of Hurricane Sandy, or any of the other residents struck by hurricanes and typhoons, not to mention lost tourist revenues to glacial-park regions that no longer have or will soon no longer have glaciers, and the wildlife so affected, again, not to mention the going-extinct polar bear which is being lost to the other barrel of the global-warming shotgun.

    The premise of this article may only prove that science deniers are very well entrenched and ever-more sly in their subterfuge and misrepresentation of data.

  35. Alan Brown Silver badge

    No sea level rise _THIS_ century

    But when it starts, it will be unstoppable.

    Your great(great-great) grandchildren won't be thankful.

    That's if they exist, because long before sea level rises hit meaningful levels we'll already be in the throes of a major Oceanic Anoxic Event (it's already starting).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anoxic_event

    At this point, global warming may turn out to be the least of our worries stemming from the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere in a short period of time.

  36. Sykobee

    I don't think the author understand the paper.

    By 2011, we had already released 531 GtC.

    This paper says that by the time we have released 600 to 800 GtC, the West Antarctic Icesheet becomes unstable. By the time it has reached around 1000 GtC, the Wilkes Basin becomes unstable.

    These two sheets, once melted, will contribute 3-5m and 3-4m of sea level rise each, within a short time period.

    We are currently releasing about 10 GtC a year into the atmosphere (accelerating at 2% a year).

    We are seven years away from the lower bound for the West Antarctic Sheet to start collapsing (indeed some believe it has begun already), and certainly by 2035 it will be well underway. In ~50 years, the Wilkes Basin will start to collapse unless we get carbon emissions under control. This collapse appears to be the start of something that cannot be stopped due to feedback loops.

    These sea level rises are shown in Figure 2 of the paper.

    Now these rises take some time to occur as the ice takes time to melt, so rather than ~8 metres melting immediately, we will see a fraction of that (20cm by 2100), but we will be committed to the full amount in due course. Just as hitting ~900 GtC commits us to over 2 degrees temperature rise eventually. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/08/20/scientists-are-still-trying-to-figure-out-how-fast-we-could-lose-west-antarctica/ also states that the collapse rate is hard to predict/model.

    Fun fact: To avoid the 2 degrees maximum warming would require us to drop global CO2 emissions 6% annually from 2020 onwards. Like heck that is going to happen - 8 GtC/year comes from coal, oil and gas burning and that ain't slowing down. 2 GtC comes from other sources.

    This paper supports the IPCC scenarios. I.e., from global sources, 1m by 2100 AND steady rises for a long long time beyond that. The IPCC scenario is widely help to be conservative.

    1. Naselus

      "I don't think the author understand the paper."

      Probably not. Page has something of a history of taking pro-warming articles and attempting to pervert them to support his personal campaign against climate science.

  37. rtb61

    WTF? "The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet." From the article. This article in addition does not take into account release of methane from perm frost regions.

    What can you not fail to comprehend, is this some kind of stupid test to see if people would check the article.

  38. Gigabob

    Not Buying It

    Sea level rise is only part of the global warming story - and being in the Western US - the shift in rainfall patterns and today the loss of snowpack are devastating. In 85 years at the current rate, livability will be challenged. Ironic to think that our salvation is in desalinization plants, located on the coast, that will become flooded over time if Caldeira is wrong. But I am betting against him.

    If Caldeira's models show only an 8cm rise in a century due to Arctic melt and we have seen a 17cm rise this century - perhaps he missed a digit in his model. It happened to Lockheed on the way to Mars, and the Italians had their challenges at the OPERA.

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