When will the Netherlands disappear?

When will the Netherlands disappear?

SOURCE: Politico DATE: December 16, 2019 SNIP: With unprecedented sea level rise forecast as a result of climate change, the Dutch government is racing against the clock to figure out how to keep one of the world’s richest countries from disappearing into the North Sea. In more optimistic scenarios, the feted Dutch dikes, storm barriers, pumps, and adaptations can cope, but at a cost — and even then only up to a point. “On the other end of the spectrum is controlled abandonment, which isn’t nice, because we somehow need to lead 10 million people somewhere,” said Maarten Kleinhans, professor of geosciences and physical geography at Utrecht University. “And as soon as this gets known, as soon as the shit hits the fan, there won’t be any investments anymore and local economies will collapse.” A certain amount of sea rise is already inevitable, set in motion by global warming and ice melting caused by decades of carbon emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body that collates and assesses scientific results, predicts 30 to 60 centimeters of sea rise by 2100, even if countries make good on their pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement. The quicker emissions are cut, the lesser the risk of unmanageable rise. But so far, the developed world is failing to meet its targets. If emissions continue on current trends, the IPCC predicts 84 centimeters of sea rise by 2100, and as much as 5.4 meters by 2300. The IPCC has also warned that a rise of more than a meter by 2100 is not unlikely, and advised at-risk...
New projections show that South Florida is in for even more sea level rise

New projections show that South Florida is in for even more sea level rise

SOURCE: Miami Herald DATE: December 4, 2019 SNIP: The timeline for South Florida to prepare for sea level rise just sped up a little. New projections show the region is in for higher seas, faster. The latest predictions aren’t catastrophically different than previous years — unless your yard is already flooding a couple of times a year from the steadily encroaching seas. In that case, a few inches a few years early is pretty important. The sea rise curves unveiled Wednesday at the Southeast Florida Climate Leadership Summit in Key West tack on about three to five extra inches by 2060, and that number only gets bigger in the future. The region went from expecting between 14 and 26 inches of sea level rise by 2060 — commonly shortened to two feet by 2060 by local leaders — to predicting 17 to 31 inches of sea rise. “These numbers are all big enough that you can see that South Florida gets in big trouble quickly,” said Harold Wanless, a University of Miami professor of geology and member of the projections team. “If you look out the window, like the areas in the Keys that are flooding for weeks on end, this is not something that might happen, this is something that is already happening.“ These new numbers come from a group of more than a dozen scientists, researchers and local government staffers from South Florida as an update to 2015...
Climate Change Is Breaking Open America’s Nuclear Tomb

Climate Change Is Breaking Open America’s Nuclear Tomb

SOURCE: LA Times DATE: November 10, 2019 SNIP: Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes. U.S. authorities later cleaned up contaminated soil on Enewetak Atoll, where the United States not only detonated the bulk of its weapons tests but, as The Times has learned, also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests and dumped 130 tons of soil from an irradiated Nevada testing site. It then deposited the atoll’s most lethal debris and soil into the dome. Now the concrete coffin, which locals call “the Tomb,” is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change. Tides are creeping up its sides, advancing higher every year as distant glaciers melt and ocean waters rise. The so-called Tomb now bobs with the tide, sucking in and flushing out radioactive water into nearby coral reefs, contaminating marine life. Officials in the Marshall Islands have lobbied the U.S. government for help, but American officials have declined, saying the dome is on Marshallese land and therefore the responsibility of the Marshallese government. “I’m like, how can it [the dome] be ours?” Hilda Heine, the president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, said in an interview in her presidential office in September. “We don’t want it. We didn’t build it. The garbage inside is not ours. It’s theirs.” To many in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome is the most visible manifestation of the United States’ nuclear legacy, a...
Scientists looked at sea levels 125,000 years in the past. The results are terrifying

Scientists looked at sea levels 125,000 years in the past. The results are terrifying

SOURCE: The Conversation DATE: November 6, 2019 SNIP: Sea levels rose 10 metres above present levels during Earth’s last warm period 125,000 years ago, according to new research that offers a glimpse of what may happen under our current climate change trajectory. Our paper, published today in Nature Communications, shows that melting ice from Antarctica was the main driver of sea level rise in the last interglacial period, which lasted about 10,000 years. This research shows that Antarctica, long thought to be the “sleeping giant” of sea level rise, is actually a key player. Its ice sheets can change quickly, and in ways that could have huge implications for coastal communities and infrastructure in future. Earth’s cycles consist of both cold glacial periods – or ice ages – when large parts of the world are covered in large ice sheets, and warmer interglacial periods when the ice thaws and sea levels rise. The Earth is presently in an interglacial period which began about 10,000 years ago. But greenhouse gas emissions over the past 200 years have caused climate changes that are faster and more extreme than experienced during the last interglacial. This means past rates of sea level rise provide only low-end predictions of what might happen in future. We examined data from the last interglacial, which occurred 125,000 to 118,000 years ago. Temperatures were up to 1℃ higher than today – similar to those projected for the near future. Our research reveals that ice melt in the last interglacial period caused global seas to rise about 10 metres above the present level. The ice melted first in Antarctica,...
Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050

Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050

SOURCE: New York Times DATE: October 29, 2019 SNIP: Rising seas could affect three times more people by 2050 than previously thought, according to new research, threatening to all but erase some of the world’s great coastal cities. The authors of a paper published Tuesday developed a more accurate way of calculating land elevation based on satellite readings, a standard way of estimating the effects of sea level rise over large areas, and found that the previous numbers were far too optimistic. The new research shows that some 150 million people are now living on land that will be below the high-tide line by midcentury. Southern Vietnam could all but disappear. The first map shows earlier expectations of submerged land by 2050. But the new outlook, the second map, indicates that the bottom part of the country will be underwater at high tide. More than 20 million people in Vietnam, almost one-quarter of the population, live on land that will be inundated. Much of Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s economic center, would disappear with it, according to the research, which was produced by Climate Central, a science organization based in New Jersey, and published in the journal Nature Communications. The projections don’t account for future population growth or land lost to coastal erosion. In Thailand, more than 10 percent of citizens now live on land that is likely to be inundated by 2050, compared with just 1 percent according to the earlier technique. The political and commercial capital, Bangkok, is particularly imperiled. Climate change will put pressure on cities in multiple ways, said Loretta Hieber Girardet, a Bangkok...