Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | November 30, 2012

Who lied to You? United Nations & IPCC Projections of sea level rise were vastly underestimated

As the Doha talks are moving inexorably to an early grave and complete irrelevance, we have just unearthed some terrible news.

The IPCC and the UN lied to You.

Lied consistently and with seemingly “good” reason.

Because like all government bureaucracies, they think that the people can’t be trusted.

So lie they did.

Wholesale, and as it turns out for the benefit of the fossil fuel companies only.

Seems they are also somehow bought by the wealth those businesses command.

So it comes as no surprise to us, to learn today the following:

Sea level rises and oceanic flooding of coastal and low lands is expected to be enormous due to climate change and all that has been vastly underestimated by the United Nations and the IPCC in an effort to not alarm the general public worldwide…

Two sets of new data streams tell the story: The first new data shows that current projections for the end of the century have seriously underestimated the rise in global sea levels. The other set of data, looks on the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, and it specifically looks at just how much of the water stored up there has been moving into the oceans. Both data streams demonstrate, that global warming is a real and imminent threat that has been vastly underepresented.

Don’t ask whose fault it is. We are all at fault here. Especially being here and getting no-where fast. In Doha I mean where the death by boredom is an art developed by the COP18 bureaucrats to kill any lucid dreamer and independent voices of reason…

Back in the jungle of science and at the debate front we have to look at the mechanics of the sea level rises.

Here are the mechanisms that could lead to a rise in global sea level as climate change warms the planet….
There are four major mechanisms: the thermal expansion of oceans in a warming world; the loss of ice from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets; the melting of mountain glaciers and ice caps (such as those in the Himalayas); and the extraction and discharge of groundwater.

And here are the latest science data on sea level rises…
One of the two new studies shows that last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in 2007, vastly underestimated actual sea level rise. That’s because the IPCC’s fourth assessment report (AR4) did not include contributions from the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. So, for the years 1993-2011, the IPCC estimated that sea level would rise by about 2 millimetres a year. But the satellite data from that period now tell a different story. Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and colleagues compared IPCC AR4 projections with actual measurements and found the projections lagging behind what was happening in the real world. Global sea level has been rising at about 3.2 millimetres a year over the past two decades.

Here is the discrepancy…
The likely culprits are continental ice sheets. “[In IPCC models], the two big ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica contribute nothing to future sea level rise, because they assume that the mass loss from Greenland is balanced by ice gain in Antarctica due to higher snowfall rates,” says Rahmstorf. But satellite data show that the ice sheets are losing ice to the oceans. If the models have not accurately reproduced what happened in recent years, it is likely that their projections for the future are not correct either. Since 2007, the IPCC has recognised this. Its initial projection of a maximum sea level rise of 60 centimetres by 2100 has been upped to include an additional 20-centimetre rise due to ice sheets melting. This effect comes from simplified models of what the ice sheets are doing, however, so even the updated projections could be off the mark and sea level rise could potentially be greater still.

And this is what the latest satellite readings tell us about ice sheets…
They tell us that the melting in Greenland is not offset by gain of ice in Antarctica. Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, UK, and colleagues combined data from three independent types of satellite studies to lessen uncertainties and remove year-to-year variability.”It’s probably now the best overall and most comprehensive estimate of what the ice sheets are doing and what they have been doing for the last 20 years,” says team member Ian Joughin of the University of Washington in Seattle.And the data are clear: from 1990 to 2000, the melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets added about 0.25 millimetres a year to global sea level rise. For 2005-2010, that number has increased to about 1 millimetre a year.

Obviously there a difference in how Greenland and Antarctica are reacting to global warming…
Greenland is losing the most ice, causing sea level to rise by about 0.75 millimetres per year. What’s happening in Antarctica is more nuanced. East Antarctica is gaining mass because of increased snowfall, but this is more than offset by the loss of ice from West Antarctica, particularly along the Amundsen Coast, where warm water is melting ice shelves from beneath. This is leading to thinning and speed-up of glaciers, such the “Pine Island” and the “Thwaites” glaciers.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

Methinks — Time to get your rubber ducky ready for a swim

 

 


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