Oceans are Rising? - Should I Learn to Swim?...
About 20000 years ago our oceans were 140 meters lower than they are today. Our homo sapiens ancestors (who had appeared 50000 years before this stage) were using the low seas and land bridges to travel away from their core areas located in Africa into whole new continents and into opening new northern lands. They really didn't think twice about the low sea levels and certainly didn't panic about the concept that those seas would rise over the next 20000 years because it just plain didn't matter to them.
Worrying about sea levels is a "first world problem". Trying to reverse the course by forcing our world to cool off is a ridiculous attitude and is driven by a panic that just isn't warranted. Yet we are embroiled in the argument and stricken with guilt at how our actions may have left an untenable world to our grandchildren. Mass panic drives our actions, not reasonable thought and measured actions to respond to natural environmental changes.
I would agree that oceans are rising. I would agree it will impact us. I will not agree that we have caused the problem and I will not agree that we can take any kind of actions that would reverse the course.
I think we need some perspective here. First of all let's have a look at the long, long term whereby we have measured ocean levels all the way back to the point where the earth began to warm its way out of the last ice age. This is shown well on the chart below. Note the really dramatic rise in levels around 5000 years ago where it tends to flatten off and proceed at a dramatically rate - around 2.5 mm / year at the present point in time compared to earlier rates of 20 to 45 mm / year (were we burning stuff then?).
We're presently worrying about that 2.5 mm / year because of course in 10 years the ocean will have risen 1 inch and by 2050 it will be 3 inches and by 2100 it will be 8 inches ( these are based on average rise - some projections are worse than that.
Even if they are correct (and there is a real scientific case that puts the rise at only 1 mm. / year), you've got to wonder why all the fuss, don't you? I mean, we're not going to die from it! Just need to sit a little farther back on the beach when we go and picnic! What's the problem with a little more height? We already deal with king tides and big waves on windy days. I don't even think I'll be around in 2100. Do you think the generations raised in 2100 will even know the ocean used to be lower or that we were turning ourselves inside out with guilt that our propensity to burn stuff caused them to park themselves higher on that beach. Doubt it.
The reason it actually is a problem of course isn't that our continents will be flooded but rather that our infrastructure will be flooded - because we've expanded our numbers and the structures that they come with right down to the water's edge. Coastal cities are right on the water and dockside structures may be affected. Delta settlements like Richmond may need to raise the dykes. Bangladesh? - well, they could get their feet wet - no real place to back up into is there?
Let's stick with the USA for our discussion. In a previous blog (button) I showed how we've done all our real population growth only in the past 70 years or so, not slowly over millennia but rather dramatically. It also wasn't evenly spread but rather concentrated into centres on favorite locations like, say the east coast. I repeat the chart that demonstrates "where the people are".
There's a lot of dark areas skirting those coastlines, particularly the eastern seaboard where hurricanes rage and spin their way up the land lines. Population densities maximize because people go where they want to go, not where they are forced to go. We populate lake fronts, river banks, ocean shores, sand spits in ocean waters, islands like Tuvalu - all lovely places until the storm clouds gather or the snow upstream melts.
We have passed the point where we are aware of our environment or our need to be wary of it and have moved into the stage where we demand that the environment conform to our ideals for perfection. Our ancestors would be watching with their mouths hanging open at the supidity that exhibit in our arrogance to dominate everything we touch. I phones have replaced common sense and awareness of surroundings.
AND THEN THERE'S TUVALU - this poor wispy little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is home to around 12000 people and is apparently sinking into the ocean as sea levels rise. Attached is an impassioned (and long) article about the history of global warming and how it applies to Tuvalu, along with counter arguments that explain that it actually is growing rather than sinking. Tuvalu has threatened to sue the world for its excessive production of C02 and claims they will have to be relocated as the land disappears. They've signed the Paris accord (apparently they were there) but their future doesn't look bright.
All very interesting, but I would ask the question - if there weren't 12000 people living on this sandspit would we even know, or care, of its existence? Furthermore would we care if the oceans, in their natural processes of changing levels over the eons would wash over this sand spit? I doubt that it would occupy our minds for even one second!
So, is the problem my use of fossil fuels or is the problem - WHAT THE HELL ARE PEOPLE LIVING ON THIS ISLAND FOR - and in particular - WHAT MAKES THEM THINK THIS WISP OF LAND, SURROUNDED BY OCEAN CAN SUPPORT 12000 OF THEM AND THEIR ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE? Even worse, WHAT MAKES THEM DEMAND THE RIGHT TO LIVE THERE AND ALSO DEMAND THAT THE WORLD TAKE ACTION SO THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE TO LIVE THERE?
UPDATE WITH INTRIGUING QUESTIONS - as I continue to research the voluminous mass of conflicting information out there I have moved beyond the Earth's surface and into the realms of the Solar system, looking at the relationships of the planets and the Sun. It turns out that there is indeed a well known relationship between planet positions and the Sun's performance, moving from hot to cold periods within cycles of varying lengths. The two major cycles concerning climate and ocean rise involve the 11 year Solar cycle and the 60 year Solar cycle. Apparently, along with the relative state of the Sun (quiet/active) we get periods with different predominant temperatures (cold/hot).
Although there is another blog on this subject coming, I wanted to point out one interesting tidbit - ocean levels are lower in north and south climes during cool periods and higher during hot periods. Water moves out from the equator during hot periods because of a slower earth spin caused by changes to solar output but reverses back to the equator during low sunspot cold periods that causes the earth to spin more rapidly. This confuses tide gauge readings that are used to "measure" ocean rise and to predict how much it will rise in the future.
So, this says oceans are not rising anywhere near faster than the 1 mm per year predicted by actual climatic warming and ice loss, far lower than the numbers being touted by climate alarmists! As 11 year cycles are also decreasing in intensity on a longer pattern of 60 years we might not see the flooding for decades if at all.
Here's a bunch of images showing sea level rise over various periods of time. Present estimates are 10 inches / century ! - and this is actually about normal. No indications we have sped up the problem.
And yet, with no evidence whatsoever, IPCC tells us a catastrophe is impending and we have to do something about it.
Biz -freaking- arre!
Please note: these images and the discussions surrounding them are easily found on Google. I'm not even going to attempt to make a bibliography because this isn't a scientific paper, it's an opinion piece. If you doubt me go search them out. The exercise is quite revealing.