Sunday, July 26, 2015

Columbia professor predicts sea level rise of 10 feet in just 50 years, and accelerating thereafter

Sunday morning July 26, 2015, on Fareed Zakaria Global Public Square, Columbia University physics Professor James Hansen, who has worked also with NASA Goddard, warned that global warming will result in a sea level rise of ten feet in just fifty years.  The rate would tend to accelerate; so probably it would be one foot in the next decade. The water will come from Antarctic ice sheets.
Here is an MIT link for some of his recent discussions. 

It will be very difficult at some point to salvage some coastal communities because of the expectation of even more rapid warming.

Hansen supports building a carbon tax into what the user pays for fossil fuel products now, so there is more incentive for people to switch to alternative sources even as individuals and families.
His remarks should be considered in conjunction with the recent prediction of some British scientists claiming that the Sun may go through a temporary period of less output leading to some cooling around 2030. 

When I replaced my Ford Focus after it was totaled in an accident (not my fault), I replaced it with a new card as close as possible.  Various insurance and dealer business arrangements made it economically the best short-term solution, by thousands of dollars.  But it would be better for “future generations” if I bought a hybrid.  Likewise, in a house, I have no short term incentive to put in solar panels if I believe developers are likely to demolish the property in the reasonably predictable future and offer more for land.  On the other hand, I would wind up living in a smaller apartment, in a city, and use less energy and drive less. 

So personal incentives are a complicated topic.

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