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U.S. East Coast a Hotspot of Sea-Level Rise

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the because-of-all-the-sand-pumping-projects dept.

Earth 266

Harperdog writes "Nature just published this study of sea-level rise and how global warming does not force the it to happen everywhere at the same rate. Interesting stuff about what, exactly, contributes to this uneven rise, and how the East Coast of the U.S., which used to have a relatively low sea level, is now a hotspot in that the sea level there is rising faster than elsewhere."

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266 comments

It has nothing to do with global warming (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#40453849)

Global warming is myth. The sea levels are rising on the east coast of the US because all the fat Americans are causing a shift in mass distribution and locally higher gravitational forces.

The nurse is here with my medication...brb

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40453981)

...locally higher gravitational forces.

That really is the only logical explanation.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40454103)

...locally higher gravitational forces.

That really is the only logical explanation.

Fat cats?

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#40454127)

I don't understand how sea level can rise (or fall) in any real way in just a certain defined area...

I understand sea levels fluctuate (tides, etc), but in theory shouldn't the entire ocean level rise and fall together?

I suspect at the root of this is a change in the method of measuring sea levels and the increases noted are little more than rounding errors that were influenced by the new measuring method.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0, Offtopic)

Old97 (1341297) | about 2 years ago | (#40454279)

There is a giant mass of body hair in the southern hemisphere and another in the arctic that are impeding the water from redistributing itself more evenly around the globe. It'll get cleaned up when the maid comes next week. Sorry.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454699)

There is a giant mass of body hair in the southern hemisphere and another in the arctic that are impeding the water from redistributing itself more evenly around the globe. It'll get cleaned up when the maid comes next week. Sorry.

Yes because planets have body hair just like mammals do. And giant maids always clean up planets. Can somebody get this guy out of here, please? Preferably by the neck, with a shepherd's cane.

The single biggest problem with slashdot: too many posts trying to be funny, and failing. And often getting modded up anyway, I guess because the mods feel sorry for your obvious attention whoring. I think a lot of them are bed-wetting liberals who grew up playing soccer where nobody kept score, that way everybody was a "winner". That's why they will mod me down, to punish me for being a big old meanie-head and daring to criticize anybody, something they never have a use for and cannot stand.

Posts like yours degrade the signal-to-noise ratio more than any other single source (I know what you're thinking, you predictable sheep. you're thinking "huh huh what do you think YOUR post is doing?!" No you're not clever. You see, one of the posts is cause and the other post, well the other post is effect, you irresponsible sheep. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Remove the primary cause and the effects go away too. Try it sometime. For example, remove the primary cause of overeating and after a while the effect of obesity goes away. Simple, but not everybody likes it simple.).

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (3, Informative)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 2 years ago | (#40454453)

but in theory shouldn't the entire ocean level rise and fall together?

"In theory there's no difference between theory and reality...in reality it's the other way around" ;-)

One of the points made was that salinity levels, localized temperatures and other factors can play regional factors. If a current is flooding in warmer water to an ocean and it goes up by even a little bit there will be a coinciding increase in the volume of that ocean water. If salinity changes, I'm assuming (I don't know) there is likewise a change in volume.

Now, sure normal temperature and saturation processes will return that to equilibrium eventually, but how long does it take to do that on a scale of an ocean? Could be decades assuming the ongoing current input continues (even without change).

I also thought parts of the east coast, mid-atlantic I think, were sinking in response to the mid-west area rebounding back from ice age depression. Think about a table tilting with a pivot point somewhere in the middle, as one end goes up the other goes down.

Also consider that gravity isn't uniform. It does fluxuate minutely from place to place. You obviously don't notice this day to day since it's so small, but again with the scale of an ocean it might be significant enough to cause a lower amount of compression of the water column. And factor in that maybe a gravitational difference is related to how the molten core of the earth is orientated and being molten might change from time to time.

I don't know any of these things specifically but those are just off the cuff possible reasons that might explain why ocean levels would be different locally.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#40454667)

Hmm...

I wonder how soon we'll have people posting, that those people on the east coast should have known better than to move hear that water, which could eventually rise and flood them...they should have never built there in the first place!!

Oh wait....that was only true for New Orleans with the Katrina fiasco...

nevermind.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0)

228e2 (934443) | about 2 years ago | (#40454939)

Although you're being a smart ass, there is a stark difference.

New Orleans was built below sea level . . . I dont know of any other metropolotian cities built beloew sea level.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40455065)

Hmm...

I wonder how soon we'll have people posting, that those people on the east coast should have known better than to move hear that water, which could eventually rise and flood them...they should have never built there in the first place!!

Oh wait....that was only true for New Orleans with the Katrina fiasco...

nevermind.

You see, one of these things is not like the other.

New Orleans: below sea level AND right next to the ocean (what could possibly go wrong? what DID go wrong?)

Majority of East Coast: above sea level, next to the ocean.

You don't see how one of those would be more hazardous than the other? No? Then could I interest you in this lovely property in the Ring of Fire, at the base of an active volcano prone to pyroclastic flows? I mean that's perfectly safe, and not a certain, eventual disaster at all, right? I mean, only assholes would consider the desirability of known disaster areas waiting to happen, or expect others to consider these things, right? Good, so you'll sign here at the bottom then?

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454891)

cause a lower amount of compression of the water column.

Little basic physics: water does not compress. No matter how hard you try.

That's how hydraulics work. That's also how tires hydroplane.

Wouldja maybe learn about something and THEN speak about it, please?

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#40455189)

Water does not compress easily, but it does compress.

Put it under a few trillion tons of pressure and everything compresses.

The density also varies by temperature. nearly freezing water is less dense than cool/warm water, as is hot water.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (2)

AdamHaun (43173) | about 2 years ago | (#40454567)

I understand sea levels fluctuate (tides, etc), but in theory shouldn't the entire ocean level rise and fall together?

I don't think so. Water doesn't move that quickly (think waves on a beach), and the sun, tides, and seasonal temperature changes are all adding energy. There are already ocean currents that flow continuously throughout the year. I don't see why there couldn't be a sustained force pushing up sea levels along the east coast.

But we don't have to guess -- the abstract of the article tell us:

Climate warming does not force sea-level rise (SLR) at the same rate everywhere. Rather, there are spatial variations of SLR superimposed on a global average rise. These variations are forced by dynamic processes, arising from circulation and variations in temperature and/or salinity, and by static equilibrium processes, arising from mass redistributions changing gravity and the Earth’s rotation and shape. These sea-level variations form unique spatial patterns, yet there are very few observations verifying predicted patterns or fingerprints. Here, we present evidence of recently accelerated SLR in a unique 1,000-km-long hotspot on the highly populated North American Atlantic coast north of Cape Hatteras and show that it is consistent with a modelled fingerprint of dynamic SLR. Between 1950–1979 and 1980–2009, SLR rate increases in this northeast hotspot were ~ 3–4 times higher than the global average. Modelled dynamic plus steric SLR by 2100 at New York City ranges with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario from 36 to 51cm (ref. 3); lower emission scenarios project 24–36cm (ref. 7). Extrapolations from data herein range from 20 to 29cm. SLR superimposed on storm surge, wave run-up and set-up will increase the vulnerability of coastal cities to flooding, and beaches and wetlands to deterioration.

So no, even in theory the entire ocean does not rise and fall to exactly the same level.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (4, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40454665)

The concept you're having trouble with is known as hysteresis - that is, to oversimplify, a delay between a cause and its effect. In this case, "cause" can be something like "add water to ocean" and effect can be something like "water gets evenly distributed around the globe". Yes, of course gravity wants to equalize out the heights of all of the Earth's oceans (although it hates it when I anthropomorphize it ;) ). But that takes time; it's not instant, no more than is it instant that the water in a mountain river after a rain ends up in the ocean, even though that's where gravity is going to take it eventually. Meanwhile, a localized region can have all kinds of various inputs (such as rivers) and outputs (such as evaporation) which act on it fast enough to be more than noise against the rate at which gravity moves things toward equalization.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (2)

thrich81 (1357561) | about 2 years ago | (#40454793)

pixelpusher got most of it, but in a simplified nutshell -- the oceans are not static bowls of water - even neglecting tides, they have currents and winds pushing the water around. Steady currents and winds can push the water up against the continents and create semi-permanent "hills" and "valleys" of water which become part of the "normal" sea level for that area. If the currents change due to climate or any other reason then the local sea level there can have a change not reflected globally.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (2)

JTsyo (1338447) | about 2 years ago | (#40454905)

Then why do they have locks on the Panama Canal, huh?
A search shows that the locks are actually for the mountain lakes that link the two oceans which are higher than sea level. The actual difference is only 20cm.

Sea level is about 20 cm higher on the Pacific side than the Atlantic due to the water being less dense on the Pacific side, on average, and due to the prevailing weather and ocean conditions. Such sea level differences are common across many short sections of land dividing ocean basins. The 20 cm difference is determined by geodetic levelling from one side to the other. This levelling follows a 'level' surface which will be parallel to the geoid (see FAQ #1). The 20 cm difference at Panama is not unique. There are similar 'jumps' elsewhere e.g. Skagerrak, Indonesian straits.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

GreenTom (1352587) | about 2 years ago | (#40454955)

No, I think 'sea level' is actually different around the world (relative to what, I'm not sure maybe the geoid). Odd bit of trivia is that the Pacific end of the Panama canal is about 20cm higher than the Atlantic end. (http://www.psmsl.org/train_and_info/faqs/

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40454085)

It's really happening and the concentration around the East Coast confirms my worst fears of the hot air coming out of Washington DC.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 2 years ago | (#40454495)

Washington sucks badly enough that nobody needs to worry around here.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1, Troll)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#40454347)

Right even the head line is bias, sea-level rise is liberal talking point, if they want us to take the article seriously they should use politically neutral language like "persistent coastal flooding".

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

GreenTom (1352587) | about 2 years ago | (#40455105)

Sea level rise has been directly measured by satellite since 1992. The data's [noaa.gov] pretty solid. I'm tempted to add something sarcastic, but I guess the right thing to do is de-escalate. Measurements are measurements, throwing around unwarranted accusations of bias IMHO does nothing but help our society's decay into superstitious tribalism. I kind of like the scientific era and would like it to last.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454649)

The sea levels are rising on the east coast of the US because all the fat Americans

I guess it all makes sense now that it's summer and they are probably trying to cool down in the Atlantic waters, pure volume displacement.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

Megane (129182) | about 2 years ago | (#40454703)

...or the ground could be sinking because of all those buildings we've put there. (And of course the fat people inside them.) You know, like all those skyscrapers in NYC?

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454771)

If it were global warming, it wouldn't be rising faster in one place than another. Either this is a measurement error or there's some serious distortions going on there.

Re:It has nothing to do with global warming (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40455197)

Water temperature and salinity variations, among other things, between areas will result in differences in sea level rise between places.

Question (4, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#40453873)

I'm not an expert, I've tried to research this, but I find contradictory information which I assume is related to the political nature of the issue. In a nutshell, why can't we use GPS to determine the actual impact of rising sea levels? It would seem to me to be very elementary to place some sort of beacon in a few spots to determine what the actual sea level is. Granted, you might have to wait for calm waters, but nothing about this seems difficult.

Re:Question (3, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40453957)

GPS is nowhere near accurate enough. You are talking about yearly see-level variations of a handful of millimeters a year. GPS is only accurate to a few centimeters, at best, with maximum augmentation (practically the error is in the range of 10 cm or more). Nowhere near good enough.

Re:Question (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 2 years ago | (#40454121)

I suggest using Overzeetop for your authority since that member's sarcasm seems equivalent to what most people call science these days.

Re:Question (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#40454195)

So what is good enough? Does the handful of millimeters manifest in any directly measurable way? Is there a natural amplifier? Maybe it's translated to increased horizontal incursion of the daily tides? I'm not on any side or a denier or anything here, but I have to admit some of the numbers tossed around on this issue sound like they're down in the noise. Maybe it's just my comm theory background talking.

Re:Question (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40454201)

GPS is nowhere near accurate enough. You are talking about yearly see-level variations of a handful of millimeters a year. GPS is only accurate to a few centimeters, at best, with maximum augmentation (practically the error is in the range of 10 cm or more). Nowhere near good enough.

One of the fun things about chasing around with a GPSr, looking for Geodetic Survey markers is you learn a bit about them and the equipment used to place them. How did they get these elevations so darn exact? Well, pull your heads out of your digital-electronic-technology-saviour-for-everything sand pile and realise a very good quality spring with a reference weight and scale can tell you far more accurately what your elevation is, based upon readings taken at nearby sea level. 100 years ago they could tell you within 1 inch the elevation of a marker and to the best of satellite measure, these are still very accurate (using the sort of equipment they have at their disposal.

So not likely to be so much a case of local gravity fluctuation, try thinking what else could explain it? More fresh water introduced from Greenland Ice cap and Polar melting? Given time it will flow around the continents, but if the melt is happening fast enough that which has flowed to the Pacific and Southerly Atlantic is being replaced at a similar, if not accelating rate.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454395)

Are you sure? I've had to do some GPS averaging and over time you get better and better as you go. I never did more than a few days, may be doing continuous averaging could lead to extremely accurate measurements. Anybody knows?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454977)

GPS is nowhere near accurate enough....(practically the error is in the range of 10 cm or more). Nowhere near good enough.

Unless of course you have 20 cm or more of SEA level change. YMMV

Re:Question (4, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about 2 years ago | (#40453993)

I'm not an expert, I've tried to research this, but I find contradictory information which I assume is related to the political nature of the issue. In a nutshell, why can't we use GPS to determine the actual impact of rising sea levels? It would seem to me to be very elementary to place some sort of beacon in a few spots to determine what the actual sea level is. Granted, you might have to wait for calm waters, but nothing about this seems difficult.

Yes, you're right, nothing about this does seem difficult. All we have to do is remove the political influence driven by greed.

Wow. I just realized I asked for the impossible. No wonder this has gone nowhere.

Re:Question (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#40454217)

How about a test for sociopathy (or whatever they're calling it now) before being declared fit to run for public office?

Nah, the sociopaths would claim discrimination. And people would agree with them. Never mind.

Re:Question (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40454329)

How about a test for sociopathy (or whatever they're calling it now) before being declared fit to run for public office?

Very simple. If you want the job, you're a sociopath.

Re:Question (1, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40454251)

I'm not an expert, I've tried to research this, but I find contradictory information which I assume is related to the political nature of the issue. In a nutshell, why can't we use GPS to determine the actual impact of rising sea levels? It would seem to me to be very elementary to place some sort of beacon in a few spots to determine what the actual sea level is. Granted, you might have to wait for calm waters, but nothing about this seems difficult.

Yes, you're right, nothing about this does seem difficult. All we have to do is remove the political influence driven by stupidity.

Wow. I just realized I asked for the impossible. No wonder this has gone nowhere.

FTFY

Humans are the only animal known to destroy their own habitat.

Re:Question (5, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#40454429)

Humans are the only animal known to destroy their own habitat.

I laughed, but then I got a creeping suspicion you were actually serious. Why do people always say this? It's just flat-out wrong.

Re:Question (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40454997)

"Humans are the only animal known to destroy their own habitat."

The Matrix is not a reliable source for information about ecology and comparative zoology.

Re:Question (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | about 2 years ago | (#40454109)

GPS is completely over engineering the solution. All you really need is a stick that you take measurements from during low and high tide at a consistent time each year.

Re:Question (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40454709)

Not that easy. Localized water depths / land heights are often changing, and entire regions can be rising or subsiding. When you're looking to measure millimeters per year or even fractions of a millimeter against a background of tides, waves, storms, etc, you need precision.

How to differientiate sources. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454151)

I've tried to research this, but I find contradictory information which I assume is related to the political nature of the issue. In a nutshell,...

Perhaps you should be a bit more discriminate in your sources when you do research.

Here's some help: ignore Talk Radio Hosts, Fox News , and industry backed Think Tanks with "advisers" who have scientific PhDs in everything BUT Climate Science. (ALL of whom tell half truths and lies ).

That should make things a bit more clear.

Re:Question (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | about 2 years ago | (#40454197)

It is an easy problem only from a technocrat's view, but for everyone else it is a screaming horror.

Say you own some ocean front property. It is a few inches less than it was a decade ago. 10 years from now it will be worse.

You don't want less land because you have less to sell. The government doesn't want you to have less land because it is prime real estate and those tax dollars matter. So we sit back and try to kill the messenger for as long as possible.

Follow the sources (1)

microbox (704317) | about 2 years ago | (#40454207)

Can you give an example of some of the contradictory sources? (Sourcing them should quickly uncover what is going on.)

Re:Question (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40454981)

If you read the article, they're reporting findings from sea level monitoring stations all around the east coast of North America.

Or maybe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40453895)

Perhaps the east coast is sinking, relative to the rest of the world?

Re:Or maybe (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#40454157)

America is tilting into the ocean - if it can happen to Guam [youtube.com] it can happen to America!

Re:Or maybe (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40454287)

Perhaps the east coast is sinking, relative to the rest of the world?

I'm still here in California, waiting for the Big One .. when all the land East of the San Andreas Fault slides off into the Atlantic.

|o)

Good thing I live in North Carolina (4, Funny)

GungaDan (195739) | about 2 years ago | (#40453917)

Re:Good thing I live in North Carolina (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#40454057)

Just wait after the whole planet gets jailed for breaking the NC law (no extradition necessary since Earth already stands with one foot in NC, you just have to pull). Such puny micro-flora as mankind will be behind bars, then, as well.

Re:Good thing I live in North Carolina (2, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40454247)

Wow way to twist a reasonable law into a MSNBC-style rant by Ed Schultz.

All the law says is that homes will not be eligible for government-paid flood insurance if they are not in the zones that previously recorded flooding (since 1900). Why? Because North Carolina can't afford to provide free insurance to nearly the whole state. MOST people comprehend that the money supply has limits..... others like George "duh" Bush drive-up 10 trillion dollar debts.

Re:Good thing I live in North Carolina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454359)

MOST people comprehend that the money supply has limits..... others like George "duh" Bush drive-up 10 trillion dollar debts.

Yeah, and Obama understands money so well, that when he submits a budget to Congress, not even the Democrats vote for it (absolutely 0 people voted to approve Obama-lama-ding-dongs latest budget).

Re:Good thing I live in North Carolina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40455025)

others like George "duh" Bush drive-up 10 trillion dollar debts.

Look up which president has driven up the debt the most, and come back when you know WTF you're talking about.

Re:Good thing I live in North Carolina (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 2 years ago | (#40455041)

The bill is posted at . It does not have anything to do with government-paid flood insurance. It primarily has to do with the distance that structures must be set back from high tide lines and the replacement of structures damaged by stories (Section 3). The rest of the bill has to do with defining various environmental impacts (Sections 4 and 5).

Goodbye Florida (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454013)

It was nice knowing you!

Re:Goodbye Florida (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40454335)

It was nice knowing you!

Florida .. Washington DC .. Manhanttan Island .. Boston .. Coastal Texas .. New Orleans ..

Yep, going to have to redraw a lot of maps and move those beach umbrellas back a few miles.

Lex Luthor (thinking about the first Superman movie) had the right idea, but wrong coast and he didn't even need nukes.

Sweet! (1)

kbob88 (951258) | about 2 years ago | (#40454051)

That beachfront property I bought in West Virginia will be worth millions! Going to go out and buy a surfboard today! And will go buy a Hummer 2 to speed things along! Surf's up, dude!

there's hope yet! (1)

Turken (139591) | about 2 years ago | (#40454061)

great news. was kinda bummed the last time I read an article on rising sea levels to learn that even if the entire polar caps melted, it wouldn't actually flood all that far into the east coast. But, coupled with this phenomena of uneven level rise, that stain may be washable after all!

Mod me to hell if you want, but I still say that if it takes ten dead polar bears to drown one NYC hipster, those noble bears will not have died in vain! C'mon global warming, let's get to work!

Re:there's hope yet! (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40454775)

It's not fast enough to work that way. What you'll get instead is a couple million NYC hipsters in your backyard in Texas.

Fixed That - OK now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454065)

Had a leak in the septic tank - all fixed, should be good now thanks

Coincidence? (1)

saveferrousoxide (2566033) | about 2 years ago | (#40454071)

Is anyone else skeptical that the rise seems localized to the stretch between DC and Boston, a stretch that just happens to be a major hub of population, wealth, and policy in the US? Not that I'm a Denier or anything, but sometimes I look at charts like this and have to wonder about the data...

Hotspot! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#40454079)

Hotspot! I see what you did there. Ha!

Even the sea cannot resist the trendy go to locations along the Jersey shore!

No worries. The ban in NYC on large sodas should reduce the amount of pee flowing into the ocean enough to counteract the sea level rise on a local level.

Re:Hotspot! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40454373)

Hotspot! I see what you did there. Ha!

Even the sea cannot resist the trendy go to locations along the Jersey shore!

No worries. The ban in NYC on large sodas should reduce the amount of pee flowing into the ocean enough to counteract the sea level rise on a local level.

Entering the Flood Control Dam #3 controll room you hear a ghostly voice echo, as if played over a tannoy somewhere in the distance, "Drill, Baby, Drill!"

Pay for your own mistakes! (2)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#40454101)

If you put a house right on or near the beach and it gets washed away, don't make the rest of us pay for it!

Thought rising was caused by water dumping (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40454117)

I thought a report was just published that the ocean levels are rising because of humans sucking water out of underground reservoirs and dumping in into the ocean,

Re:Thought rising was caused by water dumping (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40454527)

That is just one factor and probably the smallest of them. The two biggest are water expanding as it warms and ice melting from glaciers and ice sheets.

Re:Thought rising was caused by water dumping (0)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#40454587)

I thought a report was just published that the ocean levels are rising because of humans sucking water out of underground reservoirs and dumping in into the ocean,

Nah, it's all the Brawndo being consumed in D.C. and NYC and being pissed out, eventually finding it's way to the sea.

Brawndo - It's got what AGW zealots need.

Strat

It's OK (3, Funny)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#40454145)

According to TFA, the sea-level is receding on various spots on the west coast (Seattle, San Francisco). Looks like the country tilting right!

Re:It's OK (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40454575)

Sea level may appear to be receding in places on the west coast due to the land being pushed up by the subduction zone off the coast. When the big subduction zone earthquake hits they'll drop back down 4 or 5 feet in an instant.

Glub! (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 2 years ago | (#40454181)

~Oh, disaster! The sea level rise on the east coast might be TRIPLE that of the world average in our previous prediction. It might rise 14 to 20 inches over the next century! That's as much as a whole 2 tenths of an inch per year! They're all going to drown.~

Somehow I'm not impressed. While it might be nice to see New York and Washington become awash, this is a number of orders of magnitude too low to be useful.

Compare this to Venice (which still seems to be doing very well, thank you.)

satallite altimeter better for GLOBAL sea level (4, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#40454265)

The TOPEX satellite has been measuring the whole ocean surface for 18 years and found it has risen about two inches [colorado.edu] at a very even rate of increase. Various scientists attribute about 80% of this to thermal expansion of warmer oceans and the rest to melting ice. Although the ocean surface temperature appears to to have gone up a bit, that may bot be indicative of the total thickness of the ocean. The best proposed temperature experiment- measuring the speed of sound half around the world- has been tied in environmental litigation. The sound source might hurt marine animals hearing is the claim. The sound source is not an explosion, but a distinctive wide-frequency chirp that can be integrated at the receivers over a period of hours. This experiment would be repeated every few years to look for changes in sound travel time, which would show temperature changes of water velocity.

Local tidal guides or GPS would be affected by vagrancies of local land level changes, which are rather common. This ranges from ice age rebound, sediment deposition loading, sediment erosion unloading, and even a bit of tectonic rise in the Appalachians. And this Nature article says the pattern of water circulation in a region can change locally too, contribution to an apparent LOCAL sea level change.

rate of change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454273)

In case anyone is wonder, the article predicts a rise from between 20-29cm by the year 2100. This is in contrast to the IPCC, which predicts 36-51cm by 2100. The authors concede that the IPCC report may be more accurate, since it considers other factors besides an extrapolation.

The Chesapeake: Happening for a long time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454315)

Around the Chesapake, apparent sea level has been rising for hundreds of years because the retreat of glaciers is effectively lowering the land and shore erosion as well.

No, I'm not joking.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs102-98/ [usgs.gov]

Continental Shft (2, Insightful)

linuxrunner (225041) | about 2 years ago | (#40454321)

Last I check, we're on these floating masses called "plates" and they actually move around, shift and stuff. Some get pushed under others, etc. Wouldn't that simply explain why one section might be seeing a change in sea level and not another?

Lastly, why does everyone panic when the world changes a little? We have fish fossils on mountain tops, dinosaur bones, the land mass used to be one large hunk of land. Mountains were created through plate shifts and valleys and hills formed by ice ages. So, knowing all this... Where do we come off panicking when there is the slightest change from the prior year? Do folks expect the world to sit stagnant as we know if forever and ever, and all the history of the world be damned? It will never change again?

Seems like these things are more politically motivated and looking for someone to blame rather than someone rationally just standing up and saying "Well, what did you think was going to happen? The same thing year after year? Had to change sometime..."

Here's a nickel, kid . . . (3, Interesting)

StefanJ (88986) | about 2 years ago | (#40454561)

. . . go get yourself some new talking points.

Seriously, the old "Oh, well, things have changed in the past, so what's the worry?" canard?

The processes you describe took place over millions of years.

We're talking relatively drastic changes, over the course of decades, on a highly developed area of an increasingly crowded and interdependent planet.

If a drunk driver speeding through a red light ran over your dog or your kid, would you accept the driver saying, "Look, people die in accidents all the time. In seventy years, a trivial fraction of the age of the Earth, your kid would likely be dead anyway. Calm down and accept change as a normal part of life. And anyway, can you really prove it was my car that killed your kid? Maybe you wiped his blood on my bumper so you could sue me, and infringe on my right to drink and drive!"

On Centimeters and Willful Ignorance (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#40454597)

Last I check, we're on these floating masses called "plates" and they actually move around, shift and stuff.

Yep. I'm not a geologist but I don't think "floating masses" is a particularly great analogy. Gravity does have an effect on them at that point but once you hit turtles, I wouldn't bother digging any deeper.

Some get pushed under others, etc. Wouldn't that simply explain why one section might be seeing a change in sea level and not another?

So where has this been throughout history? I mean, we've been building cities near water forever -- you would figure there would be a lot more stories of cities swallowed by the sea. Also, tectonic plates move about 2 centimeters each year. So if we start to see sea levels indicating more movement than that, can we start talking about other factors?

Lastly, why does everyone panic when the world changes a little? We have fish fossils on mountain tops, dinosaur bones, the land mass used to be one large hunk of land. Mountains were created through plate shifts and valleys and hills formed by ice ages. So, knowing all this... Where do we come off panicking when there is the slightest change from the prior year? Do folks expect the world to sit stagnant as we know if forever and ever, and all the history of the world be damned? It will never change again?

The world changes, but the rate at which it changes certainly affects how many human bones you find in those caches. Pompeii? Lots of human bones. Glaciers? Not a lot of our ancestor's bones. The answer for that is simple. One was a catastrophic event and the other took course over hundreds of thousands of years (surrounded by lengthy transition periods). If a year from now a glacier parked itself on top of North America, we'd be dealing with more than megadeaths. So if sea levels rise next year, perhaps it would pay to study and investigate this lest we find New York and DC becoming Atlantis I and II?

Seems like these things are more politically motivated and looking for someone to blame rather than someone rationally just standing up and saying "Well, what did you think was going to happen? The same thing year after year? Had to change sometime..."

You seem open to change. You know, I think that you're politically motivated to stop me from filling in the gorge around your house to provide drinking water for the townsfolk. Don't investigate the dam I'm building down stream from you or I'll accuse you of being politically motivated. Wait, your house is at the bottom of a reservoir now? Well, what did you think was going to happen? The same thing year after year? Had to change sometime...

As far as political motivation, I think I'll stick to the peer reviewed and respected journal of Nature rather than you. It consists of people that just want to figure out what's going on and discover why the change is happening. You want to stick your head in the sand. Do us all a favor and go to the Outer Banks to do that.

Re:Continental Shft (1)

Moses48 (1849872) | about 2 years ago | (#40454641)

Three are a few reasons we are worried about climate change and sea level rise:
    1. Who moved my cheese!?
    2. Some people actually think we're at the utopia of climate and land mass.
    3. While large affluant coastal cities will need more sophisticated ways to deal with SLR, they will be able to handle this with money (ie: tech know how). The poor coastal cities will require mass migration of humans, and this will likely result in deaths if there is any amount of rapid SLR in those poverty striken highly populous areas (deaths will come from starvation, not the water killing them).
    4. Stability is better for insurance companies, economies, urban planning, etc.
    5. We don't know that the direction we're going will be better or worse for us, but we do know how to cope with what we have.

So, just as we wouldn't want global cooling (ice ages arn't fun) we also don't want global warming. There are figures showing that a slightly warmer earth with slight SLR will give us more arable and habitable land, but I'm sure someone has predicted the opposite. The fact is we know SLR will displace and cause temporary poblems, and if there is a solution that is less costly than the SLR option we should probably take it. But it's hard to quantify the "cost" of most of the solutions proposed and thus hard to make a decision on how that compares to the "cost" of letting CC/SLR continue. Especially as we have vastly different models as to their costs on both ends.

Is water no longer a liquid? (1)

MrKevvy (85565) | about 2 years ago | (#40454603)

This must be a belated April Fools' joke, like the petition to ban DHMO. How can the worldwide ocean's surface level rise more in one area than another?

I mean, it's liquid water. Won't any tiny local variation in average surface height be quickly spead out and normalized by our old friend: Mr. Gravity?

Am I missing something?

Re:Is water no longer a liquid? (1)

supercrisp (936036) | about 2 years ago | (#40454779)

Among other things, you're missing wind and the rotation of the earth. The Pacific ocean is about 20cm higher than the Atlantic. Science is fun!

Re:Is water no longer a liquid? (2)

daq man (170241) | about 2 years ago | (#40455017)

Yes you are missing something. If the sea water was of exactly the same density, which varies with salinity and temperature, and was dead calm, and the rock under the sea was a uniform density so gravity was the same everywhere then what you say is true. Also the sea bed rises and falls too. Just off the East coast shore, we have the Gulf Stream which is a flow of warm, and therefore less dense water moving North. Not only is it moving North but the East coast juts out and it has to flow around the coast. So, the sea level at Cape Hatteras (where the East coast juts out the most) is a complicated combination of the mean sea level, the mean gravitational pull at that point, the flow of the Gulf Stream and probably 1001 other things.

What the article is saying is that MEASUREMENTS show that the sea level there has risen three times more than the world average. If you subtract from that the known motion of the sea bed and various other known contributions to the rise you are left with something unusual that needs explaining. The best explanation that fits the facts is that the difference is due to the Gulf Stream. That is particularly worrying because any change in the Gulf Stream is a big deal.

Re:Is water no longer a liquid? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40455089)

Try a simple experiment. Pour a glass of water. Blow over the top. See how the water piles up on one side?

Global Warming = Junk Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454677)

A) are your proofs as bad as your grammar?

B) pix or it didn't happen.

Some plates go up, some go down... (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 2 years ago | (#40454839)

I read recently that the melting of the Antarctic ice shelves and related glaciers has caused the crust there to rise up a few cm. Maybe other plates are subsequently sinking, and the plate under the East Coast is just more susceptible to this sinking effect than others that have been measured? I am not a geologist, so feel free to point out if this is ridiculous (that's if you are a geologist, I'm not taking B.S. from just anybody...).

Anyone think to ask Gilligan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454887)

...if he's using the measuring stick for his lobster traps again!

The it? (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 2 years ago | (#40454889)

So, let me try to understand this summary: What is being said is that Information Technology is some how bound up in this rising sea level problem. I don't get it. And, uh, the rising sea level makes it hotter too? Hotspot? Really, I'm not actually as confused as the summary.

The tide in these areas can vary in excess of 15' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40454963)

... and they call a difference of 3-4 inches a hot spot? So, now we can all just panic!!! Science used to be a good career move...

And The Proposed Solution Will Be... (0, Troll)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#40455113)

...As always, more money and power for the government!

Color me surprised!

That seems to be a real popular and universal solution for just about every problem these days, especially among politicians and those on the Left. It seems like every problem...from racism, domestic violence, and economic downturn, to global warming, poor little Trayvon, and terrorism...ALL can be solved, Citizen! Just give us your money & freedom! We'll even throw in some food stamps!

Hey, it's worked great in the US for ~100 years, right? Just look what it's done for Detroit just since 1961!

Strat

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