Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sea levels set for a 'continuing rise' for generations...The Daily Climate ... Like baking a cake.

Sea levels set for a 'continuing rise' for generations — The Daily Climate:

So here's the story. It's already baked into the cake.

The current setting has sea levels rising for decades. Even if we all went to carbon neutral tomorrow.

The basics are that greenhouse gasses will persist in the atmosphere for decades, even centuries. The most prevalent is Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which will stay in the atmosphere for 70 years, maybe 100.

So, we can expect temperatures to rise 2, 3, maybe 4 or 5 degrees C. And, as the ocean waters warm, the water expands (thermal expansion). If the oceans are about 2 miles deep, on average, the heat expansion really makes a difference. We're talking yards here, not feet.

Some estimates seem to show only the top, maybe the top 10% of the oceans heating and expanding. But that's because they are using a short planning horizon. If you wait another 50 to 100 years, you should expect far more of the oceans to warm, and expand.

That is, the heating is already "baked into the cake"... Or in our case, baked into the atmosphere, which will eventually bake into the oceans, which will eventually...

Well, you get the picture.

Make no doubt, I'm looking and hoping that this scenario is not the most likely to play forward.

We do have lower solar and volcanic activities which should serve as a cooling damper for the atmosphere.

But we appear to be overshadowing that offset. At least from all I can see.

As always, the best and first place to start is conservation and efficiency.

'via Blog this'

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