» Sea level rise: So what?


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Sea level rise: So what?

Written August 7th, 2013 by
So the ocean rises a few feet over hundreds of years -- big deal!

So the ocean may rise a few feet over the next several hundred years — big deal!

If you have nothing at all to worry about — but only then — you can worry about the rising sea level. That’s my conclusion after reading about the latest research, so-called, on this subject, reported in USA Today on July 29.

A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that a rise in the sea level threatened more than 1,400 American towns and cities unless there are “deep cuts in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.” This kind of reporting gives science a bad name.

The study projects a sea level rise of 4 feet based on global warming caused by greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. But it may take hundreds of years. And without sharp reductions, further increases in sea level might happen over as long a period as 2000 years. The obvious conclusion: So what? Coastal cities did not exist in America 2,000 years ago. Who’s to say they can’t move inland in another 2,000? Or build better sea walls?

Further, mankind faces far more immediate dangers — warfare, poverty and the loss of freedom, among others. Let’s worry about those rather than something as easily managed as a gradual long-term rise in the level of the sea. (hh)

From Kathleen Dodge, via Facebook: This is pretty ignorant. Have you considered the impact on wildlife and the environment? No.


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