The new study by Dr. James Hansen and 16 co-authors shows that prospects for rapid sea level rise and damaging superstorms are worse than previously predicted.
News coverage of the report has been sparse, but there are links below to a couple: CBS’s two-minute broadcast and a longer Washington Post piece that includes a layperson’s explanation of the science as well as early comments by other top climate experts. The Post article has a link to the full study, and to a number of other interesting pieces of science.
This is consistent with the long-running concerns by Hansen and many other scientists that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has for years been ignoring key factors contributing to sea level rise and associated climate disruptions.
A little time remains for us to make a major course correction that could limit climate changes to “moderate” levels (which are already wreaking much pain and destruction) and avoid the worst scenarios.
NC WARN continues pressing Duke Energy – the world’s largest power corporation and the nation’s biggest polluter – to rapidly decarbonize its operations. We’ve gained much ground over time and are pedaling hard to grab more in every way possible.
Experts make dire predictions about sea level
by Jim Axelrod
CBS Evening News
July 21, 2015
In the future, there could be major flooding along every coast. So says a new study that warns the world’s seas are rising.
Ever-warming oceans that are melting polar ice could raise sea levels 15 feet in the next 50 to 100 years, NASA’s former climate chief now says. That’s five times higher than previous predictions.
“This is the biggest threat the planet faces,” said James Hansen, the co-author of the new journal article raising that alarm scenario.
“If we get sea level rise of several meters, all coastal cities become dysfunctional,” he said. “The implications of this are just incalculable.”
The world’s most famous climate scientist just outlined an alarming scenario for our planet’s future
by Chris Mooney
July 20, 2015
James Hansen has often been out ahead of his scientific colleagues.
With his 1988 congressional testimony, the then-NASA scientist is credited with putting the global warming issue on the map by saying that a warming trend had already begun. “It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here,” Hansen famously testified.
Now Hansen — who retired in 2013 from his NASA post, and is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute — is publishing what he says may be his most important paper. Along with 16 other researchers — including leading experts on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets — he has authored a lengthy study outlining a scenario of potentially rapid sea level rise combined with more intense storm systems.
It’s an alarming picture of where the planet could be headed — and hard to ignore, given its author. But it may also meet with considerable skepticism in the broader scientific community, given that its scenarios of sea level rise occur more rapidly than those ratified by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest assessment of the state of climate science, published in 2013.
The authors conclude that 2 degrees Celsius global warming—the widely accepted international target for how much the world should limit global warming—is “highly dangerous.”